Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 221-225

Prevalence and characteristics of migraine in medical students and its impact on their daily activities


1 Department of Neurology, Narayana Medical College and Superspeciality Hospital, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 MBBS Student, Narayana Medical College, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Bindu Menon
Department of Neurology, Narayana Medical College and Superspeciality Hospital, Chintareddypalem, Nellore-2, Andhra Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: This study has been conducted under the STS (short term studentship) project under the Indian Council of Medical Research, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.112472

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Background: Migraine is a common neurological disorder with significant impact on quality of life. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and characteristics of migraine headaches in medical students, to measure its impact on their life, and to assess their knowledge about the ailment. Information about lifestyle variables was also collected. Materials and Methods: All medical students who confirmed of having headache for more than 1 year formed the study group. Students filled a detailed questionnaire focusing on demographics, pain characteristics, accompanying factors, triggers, and family history of migraine. Lifestyle variables were enquired and migraine associated disability was assessed by MIDAS (Migraine Disability Assessment). The diagnosis of migraine was made according to the International Headache Society criteria. Results are expressed in n = numbers and percentage. Results: Sixty-eight percent of medical students had headache. The prevalence of migraine in the whole cohort was 28%; however, of the headache group, migraine constituted 42%. There was a female preponderance. One-fourth of the students had weekly or daily attacks with 31% students reporting increase in their headache intensity and frequency. Forty-four percent of students had severe headaches. Dizziness, allodynia, and neck stiffness were reported as accompanying symptoms. Trigger factors were identified in 99% students, predominant of which were poor sleep hygiene, environmental changes, head movements, and mental stress. Only 4% of students did regular exercise. Twenty-seven percent of students reported self-medication use of analgesics. One-fourth of the students had migraine-associated disability but only 6% realized that they had migraine. Conclusion: Our study found a high prevalence of headache with migraine in medical students. The students' awareness of the disease was very low with one-fourth of the students resorting to self-medication. Our study identified previously less-recognized triggers like head movement and accompanying symptoms like neck stiffness. Migraine-attributed burden was high in medical students.


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