Background.—From published figures, we know that pain has a significant impact on quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis(18-21). In these patients, more pain, in addition to greater pain intensities are reported(19). Several studies also show a greater prevalence of both primary headache, i.e. migraine, cluster headache, and tension-type headache, in addition to secondary headache(35-39). Nonetheless, a very limited amount of data exists on the matter.
Purpose.—The aim of this paper is to further explore the association between self-reported headache among multiple sclerosis patients, as well as migraine in particular.
Methods.—We performed a questionnaire based case-control study of 903 MS patients from the Oslo MS Registry, and used 1100 participants from the Norwegian Bone Marrow Registry as controls. Selected questions from two questionnaires per patient were used in this paper. Hypotheses have been tested using Pearson’s chi squared test, and for several variables, an odds ratio with a 95% confidence interval have been given instead.
Results and Conclusion.-We found no significant difference in prevalence of headache and migraine between the total MS group and controls, but a lower prevalence of headache and migraine among PP-MS patients. Furthermore, we found a significantly lower prevalence in male MS patients compared to male controls with regard to self reported headache in general, and of migraine exclusively (p = 0.015). MS patients also had a significantly higher headache symptom frequency (p < 0.001); moreover, we observed a higher proportion of MS patients with moderate headache pain intensity (OR = 1.59 [95% CI = 1.16-2.18]), along with a higher usage of prescription-free drugs in these patients (daily: OR = 6.35 [95% CI = 2.29-17.57]). Thus, MS patients with headache are more affected by this than controls.