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Contempo Updates
Clinician's Corner
March 19, 2003

Headache Assessment and Management

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: The Headache Center, Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.


Contempo Updates Section Editor: Sarah Pressman Lovinger, MD, Fishbein Fellow.

JAMA. 2003;289(11):1430-1433. doi:10.1001/jama.289.11.1430

The lifetime prevalence of headache is more than 90%.1 In recent population-based surveys of US adults, nearly 25% annually report recurrent episodes of severe headache and 4% daily or near-daily headache.24 Prescription or nonprescription products are used by 9% of US adults each week to treat headache, matching hypertension as the primary reason for medication use.5 The majority of patients presenting to physicians will have primary headache syndromes such as tension-type, cluster, and migraine. Less than 2% of patients in office and 4% of patients in emergency department settings will be found to have headaches secondary to significant pathology.6

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