Headache yesterday in China: A new approach to estimating the burden of headache, applied in a general-population survey in China
Headache is a major global public-health problem, although everywhere it is under-recognized as such. In 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged migraine as a disorder of global public health importance. ‘Headache yesterday’ is a new concept in headache epidemiology, and this is the first report of it to be published in the context of a nationwide survey. For this study throughout China, nonrelated respondents aged 18–65 years were randomly sampled from the general population by a door-to-door survey. The survey included a questionnaire with the aim to minimize recall bias in burden estimation.
The study indicates the amount of Chinese people who suffer with a headache at any given time. The survey introduced questions into each interview on the occurrence and impact of headache on the day prior to the survey. It attempts to capture the severity of the symptoms and to what extent they can have a disabling impact. It considers the amount of productive time lost, how individuals treat the headache and how effective they feel this can be.
Background In order to minimize recall bias in burden estimation, questions about headache yesterday were included in a population-based survey initiated by Lifting The Burden: The Global Campaign against Headache.
Methods Throughout China, nonrelated respondents aged 18–65 years were randomly sampled from the general population by a door-to-door survey. A validated structured questionnaire included inquiry into occurrence and burden of headache on the preceding day (“headache yesterday”).
Results The participation rate was 94.1%. Of 5041 participants, 286 (5.7%) (male 3.6%, female 7.9%) reported headache yesterday. Age-weighted prevalence of headache yesterday was 4.8% (male 3.0%, female 6.6%). Headache yesterday lasted all day in 36.8%, <1 hour in 14.3% and for a mean of 3.7 ± 3.3 hours in 48.9%. Headache yesterday was moderate to severe in 79.9%; disability such that they could do less than half of what they had expected was reported by 19.9% and such that they could do nothing by a further 7.5% (total 27.4%). Almost three-quarters (71.5%) with headache yesterday took medication to treat it.
Conclusions Of the adult Chinese population, 1.8% have headache at any one time that is of moderate to severe intensity in 1.4%, and 1.3% lose the equivalent of a whole day to headache-attributed disability every day. In China this means 12.3 million people. China headache yesterday burden of illness disability Global Campaign against Headache
Yu, S., He, M., Liu, R., Feng, J., Qiao, X., Yang, X., Cao, X., Zhao, G., Fang, Y., & Steiner, T. (2013). Headache yesterday in China: A new approach to estimating the burden of headache, applied in a general-population survey in China Cephalalgia DOI: 10.1177/0333102413490347