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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Prevalence and socio-demographic characteristics of persons who have never had a headache among healthy voluntary blood donors – a population-based study

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Introduction: Headache is an extremely prevalent disorder with a lifetime prevalence of 90–99%. However, a small fraction of people never experiences a headache. Research on people without headache could uncover protective factors in headache, but to our knowledge no study on headache-free individuals has been published. We aim to estimate the prevalence of headache-free individuals among Danish blood donors, and to describe the socio-demographics and health factors of headache-free participants. Materials and methods: In all, 38,557 healthy volunteers were recruited as part of the Danish Blood Donor Study. Headache-free participants were identified based on the question “Have you ever experienced a headache of any kind?”. Utilising the Danish registries and self-reported questionnaires, we analysed socio-demographic and lifestyle factors using logistic regression adjusted for age and sex. Results: The prevalence of headache-free individuals was 4.1% (n = 1362) with a female-male ratio of 1:2.2. To be headache free was significantly associated with an employment status as a student, a low level of income and a regular alcohol consumption. Discussion: The prevalence of headache-free individuals was comparable to population-wide studies of headache. To be headache free was not associated with a high socio-economic status. Further studies on people without headache will hopefully reveal protective factors in headache, and this novel approach might be useful in other very prevalent disorders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCephalalgia
ISSN0333-1024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

    Research areas

  • blood donors, Headache, life style, prevalence, protective factors, registries

ID: 59829690