NEURALGIA DE ARNOLD
Objectives: To perform a descriptive epidemiological study about the impact of headaches in a medical student population. Background: Medical students are a group at special high risk to suffer headache and migraine. As far as we know, there are not specific studies in Argentina. Methods: This epidemiological study was done based on a previously validated questionnaire and a clinical interview, to determine prevalence, type, and frequency of headaches, absenteeism, interference of pain in relationships, use of painkillers, and medical consultations motivated by headaches. Migraine and tension-type headaches were diagnosed according to the International Headache Society criteria. In order to assess the impact of migraine vs. tension-type headache impact we compared the results in both groups. Results: The questionnaire was completed by 3589 medical students: 34.32 % men and 49.9% of women reported having headaches on a regular basis. Of the studied group, 12.62% met the migraine criteria and 68.99% the tension-type criteria. In the regular headache group, 13.7% reported having headache almost every day, 30% once a week, and 41.2% once a month. Only 12.9% mentioned knowing about a preventive treatment, and 45% of them had consulted a physician. Twenty-nine point six percent said they took more than 3 aspirins a week, and 17% more than 2 pills containing ergotamine. They reported taking more painkillers than before (75%). Thirty percent stated that headache interferes with academic perfomance. Impact variables showed significant differences for migraine when compared to tension-type headache. Conclusion: The results of this epidemiological study show that headache is highly prevalent among medical students. Headache interferes with their social activities and study perfomance and tends to worsen with time. Painkiller abuse is higher in this group than in the general population.