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scientific articles

Headache in children with sickle cell disease: prevalence and associated factors

key information

source: The Journal of Pediatrics

year: 2007

authors: Niebanck AE, Pollock AN, Smith-Whitley K, Raffini LJ, Zimmerman RA, Ohene-Frempong K, Kwiatkowski JL


To compare the prevalence of frequent headache in children with sickle cell disease (SCD) to that of black control subjects and to assess factors associated with headache in SCD.
In this cross-sectional study, a headache questionnaire was administered to subjects with SCD and black control subjects. Subjects answered supplementary questions about SCD complications. Clinical and radiographic information were abstracted from medical charts for subjects with SCD.
Children (n = 241) with SCD and 141 control subjects were studied; 32.4% (95% CI 26.5%-38.7%) of subjects with SCD reported having headaches at least weekly, similar to control subjects at 27% (95% CI 19.8%-35.1%, P = NS); however, in children CONCLUSION:
The prevalence of headaches in children with SCD is similar to the general population; however, younger children with SCD report headaches more frequently than control subjects. The cause of headache is likely multifactorial, and SCD-specific factors may contribute.

organization: Duke University School of Medicine, USA

DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2007.02.015

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