Primary headache disorders in children are one of the most prominent topics in the pediatric neurology literature. However, there are many unsolved aspects, including the conditions associated with migraine. The present study aims to report on the frequency of behavioral comorbidities in the setting of primary headache in childhood.
In this study, we enlisted 475 children (290 males and 185 females; ratio 1.6:1), aged 4 to 14 years, who were affected by primary headache. In direct interviews, children and parents gave information on the association of their headache with, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, tics, anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Other 475 children with no history of headache or recognized neurological conditions were matched for age, sex, race, and socioeconomic status and were used as controls.
A significant association of primary headache was found with anxiety and depression (p-value <0.001); overall, behavioral disorders were more common in children who experienced headache than in controls (p-value <0.001).
Primary headache in children is not associated with most of the common behavioral conditions. On the contrary, there was a significant association with anxiety and depression, as reported in adults.