Seventy high school students between 16 and 18 years of age reporting a headache frequency of once a week or more were compared with a headache-free control group and were studied by questionnaires for psychosocial, health-behavior, and medical problems at the Dept of Child and Youth Psychiatry, University Hospital of Uppsala, Sweden. Adolescents with recurrent tension and migraine headaches reported significantly more somatic symptoms and psychological distress than controls, they were more often absent from school, and used the school health service more than controls. Their parents were more often divorced and suffered more frequently from headache and abdominal pain. Nervous problems, anxiety, depression, homework time, somatic symptoms and absence from school were psychosocial predictors of headache susceptibility. [1]

COMMENT. These results differ from a previous study of anxiety in childhood migraine. Patients with migraine and their parents who completed standardized anxiety, personality, and life-event scales showed no significant difference from controls. All patients had anxiety scores within normal. Patient selection and the omission of tension headache sufferers could explain the difference in findings.