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Prevalence and Determinants of Headaches in Hawaii: The Hilo Women's Health Study
Annals of Human Biology (2012)
  • Angela Reza
  • Lynnette L Sievert, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • Nicholas Rahberg
  • Lynn A. Morrison
  • Daniel E. Brown

Background: Headache frequency has been associated with ethnicity, menopause, abdominal obesity and stress.

Aim: To examine the prevalence and determinants of headaches in the multi-ethnic community of Hilo, Hawaii.

Subjects and methods: A random sample of 1824 women aged 16–100 was recruited by postal survey; 206 women aged 45–55 were recruited for clinical measures. Both studies queried the presence/absence of headaches during the past 2 weeks. The clinical study also examined migraines and tension headaches. Headaches were examined in relation to demographic, reproductive and lifestyle variables, stress, symptoms and anthropometric measures.

Results: Headache prevalence was 47%. Japanese women were less likely to report headaches compared to women of European descent, but, after controlling for measures of stress, Japanese women were at a higher risk for headaches. Post-menopausal women were half as likely to report headaches compared with pre-menopausal women. Women with children younger than 18 were 4-times as likely to report migraines compared with women who did not have children younger than 18.

Conclusion: Standardized measures of daily hassles, life and job satisfaction were not associated with headaches. The relationship between headaches and having young children suggests that the everyday stress of family life is a headache risk. This may be particularly true in Hilo, Hawaii, where the value of family is culturally prioritized.

Read More:

  • headaches,
  • menopause,
  • migraines,
  • Hawaii
Publication Date
July, 2012
Publisher Statement
Citation Information
Angela Reza, Lynnette L Sievert, Nicholas Rahberg, Lynn A. Morrison, et al.. "Prevalence and Determinants of Headaches in Hawaii: The Hilo Women's Health Study" Annals of Human Biology Vol. 39 Iss. 4 (2012)
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