WEDNESDAY, Feb. 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Patients with cluster headache have more sickness absence and disability pension days than matched references, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in Neurology.

Christina Sjöstrand, M.D., Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues conducted a registry study of all patients aged 16 to 64 years who received specialized health care for cluster headache (3,240 patients) and matched references from the total population (16,200) living in Sweden in 2010.

The researchers estimated that the mean number of sickness absence days was 16.13 and 6.54 among patients with cluster headache and references, respectively, in 2010. When combining sickness absence and disability pension days, patients with cluster headache and references had 63.15 and 34.08 days, respectively. Among patients, compared with men, women had twice as many sickness absence days (23.71 versus 12.41 days). These numbers increased to 83.71 and 52.56, respectively, when disability pension days were added. Significantly more sickness absence days were reported in patients with cluster headache compared with the reference group in all ages. Compared with those with high school and college/university education, patients with elementary education had more sickness absence/disability pension days (85.88 days versus 64.89 and 41.42 days, respectively).

“More research is needed on how to best treat and manage this form of headache so people who experience them have fewer days in pain and miss fewer days of work,” Sjöstrand said in a statement.

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