Primary chronic daily headache and its subtypes in adolescents and adults

Marcelo E. Bigal, R. B. Lipton, S. J. Tepper, A. M. Rapoport, F. D. Sheftell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the relative frequency of chronic daily headache (CDH) subtypes in adolescents and to compare the distribution of CDH subtypes in adolescents and adults of various ages. Methods: Adolescents (13 to 17 years, n = 170) and adults (18 or older, n = 638) were recruited during the same time frame. CDH subtypes were classified according the criteria proposed by Silberstein and Lipton (1996) as transformed migraine (TM), chronic tension-type headache (CTTH), new daily persistent headache (NDPH), and hemicrania continua (HC). Results: Among adolescents and adults there were substantial differences in the distribution of CDH subtypes. The relative frequency of TM was lower in adolescents (68.8% vs 87.4%, p < 0.001), while NDPH (21.1% vs 10.8%, p < 0.001) and CTTH (10.1% vs 0.9%, p < 0.0001) were more common. HC (0 vs 0.9%, NS) was equally rare. The lower relative frequency of TM in adolescents was accounted for by TM with medication overuse (TM+), much more common in adults (28.2% vs 62.5%, p < 0.001). In fact, TM without medication overuse (TM-) was more common in adolescents (40.5% vs 24.9%, p < 0.001). The relative frequency of TM+ increased until the age of 50 years (p < 0.001). Conclusions: In adolescents with CDH, TM usually develops without medication overuse. Adolescents with the early onset form of TM may develop the disorder in the absence of medication overuse because they are at increased biologic risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-847
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 14 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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