Almost 20% of patients with headache during Covid develop chronic headache

Madrid

Updated:

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Magazine
«Cephalalgia»
publishes the results of the study carried out by members of the Headache Study Group of the
Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN)
in which the evolution of more than 900 Spanish patients with Covid-19 who suffered from headache as a symptom of this disease was analyzed.

This study shows that about 20% of patients with headache during the acute phase of Covid-19 develop a daily chronic headache. For this reason, the Spanish researchers point out, it is important to address the headache properly from the beginning to avoid making this symptom chronic and turning it into a disease.

“Headache is a frequent symptom of Covid-19 and also a common symptom among people who have overcome the disease, but hardly any studies have been carried out that allow us to know the long-term evolution of this symptom,” he explains. David Garcia Azorinco-author of the study.

When the headache persists for a month, there is a 50% chance that the headache will still be present 9 months later

Of all the patients included in the study, about half had no previous history of headache, and although the mean duration of the headache was 2 weeks, in about a fifth of the patients it became persistent and continued. a chronic daily pattern: in 19% of patients the headache persisted at 3 months and in 16% the headache persisted at 9 months.

Additionally, headache intensity during the acute phase of COVID-19 was associated with longer headache duration.

“We found that in cases where the headache persists after 2 months, it is quite likely that it will remain present over time. And also that, when the headache persists for a month, there is a 50% chance that the headache is still present 9 months later. This shows the importance of the prompt evaluation of patients with persistent headache after suffering from Covid-19″, he comments. Jesus Porta Etessam, study co-author.

The researchers consider that if this symptom were addressed correctly from the beginning, “many of the problems of chronification of this disease would be avoided,” says Patricia Pozo Rosich.

In any case, to date, there are no specific therapies, so most doctors treat post-Covid-19 headaches based on the similarity of symptoms with other primary headaches. “Considering the impact of headache on patients’ quality of life, urgently needed carry out controlled studies of possible treatments and their effectiveness”, emphasizes Pozo.

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