Know the Burden

To know the size and nature of the burden of headache in all regions of the world requires two major steps.

The first, completed in 2007, was to bring together all of the existing and published worldwide evidence of the burden [reference 1].

People contributing to this activity

The second is to set up new studies in the parts of the world where the evidence is lacking or of poor quality.

Until recently, very little had been known of the prevalence or burden of any headache disorder for more than half the people of the world: those living in most of the Western Pacific including China, all of South East Asia including India, all of Eastern Europe including Russia, most of Eastern Mediterranean and most of Africa.

To fill these knowledge gaps entailed moving onto national or locality fronts with new epidemiological studies. This undertaking required better – and standardized – methodology.

The geographical priorities, reflecting opportunity as well as need, are (or have been):

Africa: Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia;
Americas: Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Brazil;
Eastern Mediterranean: Kuwait, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia;
Europe: Georgia, Russia;
South-East Asia: India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia;
Western Pacific: China, Mongolia.

Studies have been completed in Ethiopia, Zambia, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Georgia, Russia, India, Nepal and China, are underway in Guatemala, Peru and Kuwait, and in planning in Nigeria, Uganda, Sri Lanka and Mongolia.


1. Stovner L et al. The global burden of headache: a documentation of headache prevalence and disability worldwide. Cephalalgia 2007; 27: 193-210. [view document]

People contributing to these activities
Back to main menu