Prevalence of headache at the initial stage of stroke and its relation with site of vascular involvement: a clinical study
Background: Stroke is the most common neurologic disease and an important cause of morbidity and mortality. Headache is an initial presenting feature of ischemic stroke and sometimes preceedes the development of stroke and thus, provides an opportunity for offering preventive measures. The aim of the present study was to determine the association of new onset headache with stroke. Methods: A total of 263 consecutive patients with stroke entered the study. Development of headache 24 have prior to admission lasting <3 days was considered the new onset headache. The intensity of headache was graded as mild, moderate and severe. Stroke was classified with respect to the localization of brain damage using magnetic resonance image (MRI). Chi-square test was applied for comparison of proportions. Results: One hundred thirty-nine males and one hundred twenty-four females with mean age of 76.4±10 (40-89) years were analyzed. Ischemic stroke involving anterior circulation was diagnosed in 210 (79%) patients and vertebrobasilar ischemia in the remaining population. Diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and coronary artery disease were observed in 36%, 52%, 38% and 42%, respectively. New onset headache was found in 49 (18.9%) patients in who 81.6% was mentioned as new onset. Six out of 9 patients with severe headache had involvement of posterior circulation, whereas in the remaining population, anterior circulation was involved. Conclusion: The findings of this study indicate no association of new onset headache with stroke. There was only a trend for severe headache toward the involvement of vertebrobasilar ischemia.