The prevalence of migraine in a random sample of the childhood population of the city of Aberdeen, Scotland, was evaluated in the Department of Medical Paediatrics, Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, employing the International Headache Society Diagnostic Criteria and validating questionnaire responses with clinical interviews. Among 206 children diagnosed at interview, the causes of severe headache and their prevalence rates (-%) were as follows: migraine in 159 (10.6%). migraine-like headache (<2 hours) in 10 (0.7%), tension headache in 14 (0.9%), non-specific in 20 (1.3%), and sinusitis or other specific diagnosis in 3 (0.2%). The prevalence of migraine increased with age, with male preponderance in children <12 years, and female preponderance >12 years of age. Children with migraine lost a mean of 8 school days a year (3 due to headache) as compared to 3 lost by controls. [1]

COMMENT. Migraine is a common cause of headache among schoolchildren in Aberdeen, with a prevalence of about 11%. This is more than twice the prevalence reported in some previous pediatric studies, comparable to the cited increased prevalence of migraine from 25 to 40% in an adult population in the US in recent years. Environmental factors are thought to be responsible.