Background: In the largest case series of cluster headache (CH) published in the literature, age of onset varies between 29.6 and 31.6 years. Differences in onset age based on gender and subtype diagnosis are reported, while there are only few data on patients with childhood and elderly onset. We therefore deemed it useful to review our own large case series of CH patients. Methods: The age of onset of cluster headache was investigated in a consecutive case series of 808 patients (585 men and 223 women), including 686 (503 men and 183 women) with episodic cluster headache (ECH), 103 (66 men and 37 women) with chronic cluster headache (CCH), and 19 with an indeterminate form of CH (16 men and three women). Results: The mean age of onset was 30.2 ± 13.8 years (30.1 ± 13.0 in men and 30.4 ± 15.7 in women). The women with primary CCH had a mean onset age of 42.8 ± 21.7 years, while the women with secondary CCH did not differ much from those with ECH. Distribution of the study subjects by decades of onset age showed a peak in the third decade both in men and in women, but when only CCH patients were considered it displayed a more marked bimodal pattern in women (with peaks in the second and the sixth decade) than men (with peaks in the third and the fifth decade). The clear male predominance in cases with onset in the central age groups became attenuated in the extreme age groups. In patients with onset between ≤ 15 years and ≥ 50 years, the traditional male-to-female ratio was actually inverted in CCH. Conclusions: Based on these epidemiological findings, it would be important to investigate the possible role, causative or protective, played by hormonal factors in CH pathogenesis.
Age of onset of episodic and chronic cluster headache – a review of a large case series from a single headache centre / Manzoni, Gian Camillo; Taga, Arens; Russo, Marco; Torelli, Paola. - In: THE JOURNAL OF HEADACHE AND PAIN. - ISSN 1129-2369. - 17:1(2016), p. 44. [10.1186/s10194-016-0626-9]
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