Rigmor Jensen, Lars Bendtsen, Sait Ashina, Maria Westergaard.
Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations. The Glostrup Research for Health and Prevention is the unique Danish facility for epidemiological studies in all chronic diseases including headache and several PhD theses have been conducted from this institution.
The Danish National Health Survey (DNHS) was a cross-sectional survey involving 130.000 individuals and that used a self-administered questionnaire with 52 core questions on chronic illness, health behaviour, perceived stress, and quality of life. The survey was implemented in 2010 and headache related questions are now under evaluation. Supplementary data analysis with specific focus on chronification, medication overuse, use of prescription medication and socioeconomic impact are ongoing and will be supplemented with data from the extensive national registers. The prevalence of medication overuse headache in Denmark is 1.8%, equivalent to 80.000 adults and such large figures call for further attention as Medication Overuse Headache is a unique type of disabling pain that in principle both can be prevented and treated.
Several new projects focusing on specific treatment results and neurobiological mechanisms underlying medication overuse headache are ongoing. Data from the epidemiological studies are related to newer population studies and predictors for chronification are identified.