Headaches in a specialized Center

Background: The features and prevalence of different types of headache observed in a tertiary center are different from those found in the population at large. In specialized clinics, there is a higher prevalence of complicated headaches, including daily or near daily headaches and overuse of headache medication. Objective: To present the profile of patients followed up at the Headache Clinic of the Federal University of Minas Gerais. Method: Data from 106 patients seen during the second semester of 2005 were assessed systematically. The semiological features of headaches, the profile of medicine consumption and the clinical diagnosis based on the International Headache Society criteria (IHS, 2004) were evaluated. Results: The mean age of patients was 37.1 years, and most cases were women (76.4%). Migraine was the most frequent diagnosis (79.2%). The prevalence of daily or near-daily headache was 39.6%, while the prevalence of analgesic medication overuse was 21.7%. Conclusion: These results confirm the high frequency of daily or near-daily headache as well as analgesic overuse among patients followed up at a specialized center.

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