Prevalence and clinical characteristics of headache in university students in Turkey

Tuzun E., Eker L., Karaduman A., Bayramoglu M.

PAIN CLINIC, vol.15, no.4, pp.397-404, 2003 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1163/156856903770196764
  • Journal Name: PAIN CLINIC
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.397-404
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


Headache is one of the most common somatic complaints in general practice. The aim of this study was to-determine the prevalence rates of the various causes of headache and to explore the differences in prevalence by gender, and age, as well as to describe the characteristics of headaches among university students. A total of 932 students who entered the English Preparatory School at Baskent University were selected as subjects. The participation rate was 82.1%. Data were collected by a self-administered questionnaire. Diagnoses of migraine and tension-type headache were based on the International Headache Society criteria. Four hundred and fifty-nine of the 765 participants (60.0%) reported one or more headache episodes in the previous year. The one-year headache prevalence was significantly higher in women (71.5%) than in men (48.7%). No significant differences were found between age groups for headache prevalence. The one-year prevalence of tension-type headache and migraine was 11.0% and 6.4%, respectively. A physician was consulted for headache by 17.6% of the subjects. In conclusion, the results of this study showed that headache was highly prevalent among the first year undergraduates.