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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4227


VINCENT, MAURICE et al. Prevalence and indirect costs of headache in a Brazilian company. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 1998, vol.56, n.4, pp.734-743. ISSN 0004-282X.

Employees from a Brazilian oil company reserach centre (n=993) were interviewed on the occurrence of headache during a 30 days period. Headache prevalence was 49.8%, with a mean frequency of 4.3±7.0 attacks per month, lasting 12.2±21.4 hours each. According to the International Headache Society diagnostic criteria, migraine (5.5%), episodic tension-type headache (26.4%), chronic tension-type headache (1.7%) and headaches not fulfilling the criteria for such disorders (16.2%) were observed. Women suffered comparatively more headache and specifically migraine than men. The pain interfered with work productivity in 10% of the subjects, corresponding to 538.75 hours off. According to an indirect costs estimation for each headache, the company may loose up to US$125.98 per employee annually. Since among headaches migraine has the highest indirect cost, migraine prevention and treatment is particularly important at the working environment. Migraine frequency may be prevented to a large extent, resulting on positive effects in both the quality of life and productivity. The cost-benefit ratio clearly favours therapeutic and preventive programs against chronic headaches.

Keywords : headache; migraine; epidemiology; costs.

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