More Education, More Headaches

February 04, 1998

Women get more tension headaches than men and people with advanced degrees suffer more often from tension headaches than the less educated, according to a recent study of tension headache prevalence conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. The study, which was the first large-scale population survey in the United States to describe the epidemiology of tension-type headaches, appears in the Feb. 4, 1998, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Lead author Brian Schwartz, MD, MS, associate professor, Environmental Health Sciences, said, "Tension headaches are very common and have a large impact on society in terms of days lost from work and decreased ability to work effectively." Dr. Schwartz looked at the occurrence of both episodic tension-type headaches (ETTH) and chronic tension-type headaches (CTTH) over a one-year period in 13,345 people in Baltimore County, Md., using the International Headache Society (IHS) criteria to define a headache.

Overall, 38.3 percent of those surveyed met IHS criteria for ETTH in the last year, women more often than men. ETTH was most common among women (46.9 percent) and men (42.3 percent) age 30 to 39, with rates declining as people aged. The rate of headaches was higher among the more educated. People who had graduate school educations showed the highest rate of prevalence (48.9 percent for women and 48.5 percent for men.) The one-year prevalence rate for chronic tension-type headache, requiring at least 15 attacks per month, was much lower, about 2.2 percent overall.

Of those who reported episodic tension-type headaches, 8.3 percent said that they had stayed home from work because of the headache. A total of 43.6 percent said that they were less effective because of their headaches not only at work but also in their personal lives and at school.

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

Related Public Health Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 and the decolonization of Indigenous public health
Indigenous self-determination, leadership and knowledge have helped protect Indigenous communities in Canada during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and these principles should be incorporated into public health in future, argue the authors of a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Public health consequences of policing homelessness
In a new study examining homelessness, researchers find that policy such a lifestyle has massive public health implications, making sleeping on the street even MORE unhealthy.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemic likely to cause long-term health problems, Yale School of Public Health finds
The coronavirus pandemic's life-altering effects are likely to result in lasting physical and mental health consequences for many people--particularly those from vulnerable populations--a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health finds.

The Lancet Public Health: US modelling study estimates impact of school closures for COVID-19 on US health-care workforce and associated mortality
US policymakers considering physical distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 face a difficult trade-off between closing schools to reduce transmission and new cases, and potential health-care worker absenteeism due to additional childcare needs that could ultimately increase mortality from COVID-19, according to new modelling research published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Access to identification documents reflecting gender identity may improve trans mental health
Results from a survey of over 20,000 American trans adults suggest that having access to identification documents which reflect their identified gender helps to improve their mental health and may reduce suicidal thoughts, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Study estimates mental health impact of welfare reform, Universal Credit, in Great Britain
The 2013 Universal Credit welfare reform appears to have led to an increase in the prevalence of psychological distress among unemployed recipients, according to a nationally representative study following more than 52,000 working-age individuals from England, Wales, and Scotland over nine years between 2009-2018, published as part of an issue of The Lancet Public Health journal on income and health.

BU researchers: Pornography is not a 'public health crisis'
Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have written an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health special February issue arguing against the claim that pornography is a public health crisis, and explaining why such a claim actually endangers the health of the public.

The Lancet Public Health: Ageism linked to poorer health in older people in England
Ageism may be linked with poorer health in older people in England, according to an observational study of over 7,500 people aged over 50 published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Study: Public transportation use linked to better public health
Promoting robust public transportation systems may come with a bonus for public health -- lower obesity rates.

Read More: Public Health News and Public Health Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to