Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Do Headache Symptoms Change During Lifespan?

Headache symptoms change during lifespan, especially in migraine, according to a recent review. Researchers provided an overview about the clinical variation of headache symptoms with age, focusing on primary headaches such as migraine, tension-type headache, and cluster headache. The basis for the reported literature was a search in the database of PubMed. Researchers determined:

  • Migraine prevalence is strongly age-dependent and during lifespan is also gender-dependent, with women more commonly affected than men with a lifetime prevalence of 12‒17% and 4‒6%, respectively.
  • In children headache attacks are significantly shorter and episodic syndromes such as migraine equivalents can be observed.
  • In the elderly autonomic symptoms are less prominent and the headache becomes more featureless.


Straube A, Andreou A. Primary headaches during lifespan. [Published online ahead of print April 8, 2019]. J Headache Pain. doi:10.1186/s10194-019-0985-0.