Are people with cluster headaches more likely to suffer from other conditions?


People with cluster headaches may be more than three times as likely to suffer from other medical conditions such as heart disease, mental disorders and other neurological diseases, according to a study published in the issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.


Cluster headaches are brief but extremely painful headaches that can occur for many days or even weeks at a time. The headache can last from 15 minutes to three hours. “Around the world, headaches have an incredibly negative impact on people’s quality of life, both economically and socially,” said study author Caroline Ran, PhD, of Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. Sweden. The study involved 3,240 people with cluster headaches aged 16 to 64 in Sweden, compared with 16,200 people who were similar in age, gender and other factors. The majority were men , as is often the case with cluster headaches.

The researchers looked at work records to determine how many days a year people were off work due to illness and disability. Of those with cluster headaches, 92 percent , or 2,977 people, had at least one additional illness . Among people without cluster headaches, 78 percent, or 12,575 people, had two or more illnesses.

Among the cluster headache sufferers, women had more additional illnesses than men, 96% and 90%, respectively. The average number of days of absence due to illness and disability is almost double among people with cluster headaches.


“It is very important to better understand the other conditions that affect people with cluster headaches and their impact on the ability to work,” added Ran. “This information can help us make decisions about treatments, prevention and prognosis.” A limitation of the study is that no information was available on personal data, such as smoking , alcohol consumption and weight, which could influence the occurrence of diseases.



  • Ultimarbidity and Sickness Absence/Disability Pension in Cluster Headache Patients and Matched References: A Swedish Register-Based Study(


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