Triggering Events and New Daily Persistent Headache: Age and Gender Differences and Insights on Pathogenesis-A Clinic-Based Study

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13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective To define what are the age and gender differences for new daily persistent headache (NDPH) triggering events and how this may relate to the pathogenesis of NDPH. To describe several new triggering events for NDPH. Methods All patients were diagnosed with primary NDPH at a headache specialty clinic during the time period of 01/2009 through 01/2013. This was a retrospective analysis of patient medical records utilizing an electronic medical record system. Results Ninety-seven patients were diagnosed with primary NDPH (65 women and 32 men). The mean average age of onset was younger in women than men 32.4 years vs 35.8 years. Fifty one of ninety seven NDPH patients (53%) did not recognize a triggering event while an infection or flu-like illness triggered NDPH in 22%, a stressful life event in 9%, a procedure (surgical) in 9%, and some "other" recognized trigger in 7%. All of the NDPH patients who developed new onset headache after an invasive surgical procedure were intubated. There was no significant difference in frequency for any of the triggering events between genders. The youngest age of onset was for a post stressful life event trigger while the oldest age of onset was in the post-surgical subgroup. Women developed NDPH at a younger age of onset for all recognized triggers, but there was no significant difference in ages of onset between the genders. There was no significant difference in the number of NDPH patients who had a history of migraine or no history and if they developed NDPH after any triggered event vs no triggering event. However, the majority of patients who developed NDPH after a stressful life event did have a precedent migraine history (67%). Newly noted triggers include: hormonal manipulation with progesterone, medication exposure, chemical/pesticide exposure, massage treatment, and immediately post a syncopal event. Conclusion More than 50% of NDPH sufferers do not recognize a triggering event to their headaches. A key finding from the present study is the recognition that of those patients who developed NDPH after an invasive surgical procedure all required intubation and we speculate a cervicogenic origin to their headaches. The fact that both genders had an almost equal rate of occurrence for most NDPH triggers and almost the same age of onset suggests a common underlying pathogenesis for similar triggering events. A precedent history of migraine did not enhance the frequency of triggered vs nontriggered NDPH except possibly for a stressful life event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-173
Number of pages10
JournalHeadache
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • intubation
  • new daily persistent headache
  • post-infection
  • post-procedure
  • stressful life event
  • triggering events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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