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Exertional Headache – II. Clinical Features Vaga Study Of Headache Epidemiology

O Sjaastad, LS Bakketeig

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In connection with a large-scale study of headache epidemiology in the parish of Vågå, Norway ( n = 1838), a prevalence of exertional headache (EH) of 12.3% was recently reported ( n = 202). The principal aim of the present report is to have a closer look at various clinical features: particular attention has been given to the coexistence of EH and migraine. EH seemed to coexist with migraine in 46% of the cases. In spite of that finding, there was generally no plentitude of ‘migraine features’ in the EH attacks per se. The predominant ‘migraine feature’ in EH attacks was throbbing. EH attacks were generally more short-lasting and seemed to be more lenient than the corresponding migraine attacks. Nausea/vomiting, and unilaterality of pain were generally not inherent features of EH attacks. EH attacks in all probability are not abortive migraine attacks – rather, they seem to be ‘migraine-like’.