BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: Chronic headache is commonly encountered in the neurology outpatient clinic and it is often associated with depression. In Korea, however, chronic headache has not yet been systematically investigated. We conducted this study to investigate this clinical characteristics and level of depression in patients who presented migraine, tension-type headache, or transformed migraine. METHOD: Among those with chronic headache during the period from January 1, 1994 through December 31, 1994, 131 patients were diagnosed to have either migraine, tension-type headache (by IHS classification), or transformed migraine: migraine in 60 patients, tension-type headache in 49 patients, and transformed migraine in 22 patients. Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was performed in 116 of the 131 patients. RESULTS & CONCLUSION: There was no significant difference in the age of onset, duration of headache, and family history among the three groups. However, patients with migraine had a more severe, unilateral, and throbbing characteristic pain than those with a tension-type headache. The mean BDI scores in the transformed migraine and the tension-type headache patients were significantly higher than those of migraine, but the level of depression did not correlate with the patient's age, duration, character, severity, and frequency of headache. These findings suggest that migraine, tension-type headache and transformed migraine may be considered clinically distinct entities in viewing their different clinical characteristics and level of depression.
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