September 5, 2005
Long-term prognosis of migraine favorable
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - New research indicates that a
high percentage of patients with migraine or tension-type
headaches experience remission on long-term follow-up.
The findings, which appear in the medical journal
Neurology, are based on an analysis of 549 patients who
participated in a Danish headache study in 1989 and were
reevaluated in 2001. Patient interviews at both time points
were conducted by physicians and standard criteria were used to
evaluation, lead author Dr. Ann Christine Lyngberg, from
Glostrup University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues note.
At follow-up, 27 of the patients (42 percent) had
experienced remission. The remaining migraine patients included
24 (38 percent) who had just 1 to 14 migraine days per year and
13 (20 percent) who had at least 15 migraine days per year, the
Predictors of a poor outcome at follow-up included high
migraine frequency at the first evaluation and the onset of
headaches at younger than 20 years of age.
As for tension-type headache, 146 subjects had frequent
episodic headaches and 15 had chronic headaches at the first
evaluation. At follow-up, 72 subjects (45 percent) had 0 to 14
headache days per year, 64 (40 percent) had 15 to 179 headache
days per year, and 25 (16 percent) had at least 180 headache
Predictors of a poor outcome included chronic tension-type
headache at the first evaluation, coexisting migraine, not
being married and sleep problems.
"Knowledge about the prognosis of migraine and tension-type
headache and information of risk factors and protective factors
is important from both a clinical and a public health
perspective," the authors emphasize. The present findings
suggest that, in general, the long-term outcomes of these
headaches are favorable, they add.
SOURCE: Neurology, August 23, 2005.