Patients with cluster headaches more likely to suffer from other diseases, research finds that Medical News Today

  • Cluster headaches are a rare disorder that affects 1 out of 1,000 individuals. They are intense, painful severe attacks of pain focused on one head side.

  • The people who suffer from cluster headaches are double as likely need time off from work as those with no cluster headaches.

  • A new study has revealed 92% of those suffering from Cluster headaches suffer from one or more additional condition.

  • Individuals with cluster headaches as well as other ailments have almost four times the number of days off as people with cluster headaches by themselves.

Cluster headaches are severe discomfort that is usually felt at the top of one head, and typically around the eyes.

The rare disease, which affects approximately


Of the population, it can affect the quality of life for a large portion of people. For those who suffer from cluster headaches are able to experience up to eight headaches per day. each lasting between 15 to 180 minutes.

In an interview with Medical News Today Professor. Peter Goadsby, chairman of OUCH(U.K.) which’s mission is to bring awareness of this condition, stated that cluster headaches are typically short-lived in comparison to migraine. However, he describes the discomfort as “very extreme (more as any other pain that has been reported)” and may be accompanied by “prominent symptoms of eye watering redness, eye irritation, nose congestion, and eye-watering.”

The reason for cluster headaches isn’t fully understood.

Previous research

It is believed that the disorder could be due to a problem in the hypothalamus – – the brain’s area that is responsible for controlling the circadian rhythm.

Recent research conducted at Karolinska University Hospital, as well as Danderyd Hospital in Sweden suggests that people suffering from cluster headaches are more likely to suffer from other ailments and take some time free from work.

The study is published in the Journal of Neurology..

In contrast to tension and migraine headaches in which cluster headaches are not usually caused by triggers like hormone changes, foods or stress.

MNT interviewed Dr. Medhat Mikhael who is a pain control specialist as well as medical director for the non-operative programs in the Spine Health Center at Memorial Care Orange Coast Medical Centre, who did not participate in the current study.

“There are a few things that can cause cluster headaches, such as heavy alcohol consumption, cigarettes smoking intense smells, stress and sleep deprivation. Beware of all those triggers and making lifestyle changes could aid,” Dr. Mikhael explained.

Because of the seriousness of the problem Due to the severity of the condition, due to the severity of the condition, cluster headaches will not disappear in the face of lifestyle changes, says the study’s principal researcher Dr. Caroline Ran, a researcher within the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

“There are theories about the use of lifestyle modifications as a way to reduce the burden of disease such as smoking cessation or sleep management, however it is not proven in controlled research,” Dr. Ran explained.

Treatments can cut down on the severity and duration of the attack as well as the frequency of attacks.

The doctor. Goadsby suggested treatments such as injections of sumatriptan, the nasal spray of sumatriptan and zolmitriptan nasal spray as well as an alternative to vagus nerve stimulation, verapamil galcanezumab (in the U.S.) and corticosteroids.

“Treatment of acute cluster headache begins with support care with Oxygen as well as drugs that cause a reduction in the headache, such as triptans and CGRP inhibitors are extremely beneficial,” Dr. Mikheal said. “Also preventive treatments employing calcium channel blockers B-blockers, and CGRP inhibitors, both injectable and oral.”

The study looked at the work documents and health records of 3240 patients diagnosed as having headaches that cluster headaches to 16,200 individuals without cluster headaches.

Cluster headaches were linked with an increase in other illnesses such as mental illnesses, heart disease as well as neurologic illnesses. In fact, 92% of patients in the study suffering from the cluster headaches were also suffering from at least one additional condition.

“We were awed to find that many patients suffer from other illnesses, this is something we have to discuss with other clinic staff to determine the impact of this on the overall health of patients, their the treatment options available and how we can offer the most effective healthcare so that they do not end suffering from long-term sickness absence.”

– Dr. Ran

It is interesting to note that despite cluster headaches that affect men more than women, research has found nine percent female participants who suffered from cluster headaches were suffering from an additional condition in comparison the 90% males.

“We found that in the group of reference morbidity was more prevalent for females. It’s possible because cluster headache already impacts the lives of patients in a significant way, adding another burden of disease makes working-life balance difficult and leads to disability absence and pensions,” Dr. Ran explained.

Researchers discovered that over the time of study, those suffering from cluster headaches were nearly twice as likely to have sick days as people without, with 63 days as opposed to 34 days.

Furthermore, those suffering from cluster headaches and a second health condition missed nearly more than four days of work as those who suffer from cluster headaches on their own.

“I believe that the most fascinating part is the fact that it shows how widespread the disability and loss of job productivity is among those suffering from cluster headache is. In addition, while cluster headache is more common among men but it appears that the rate of disability and loss of job is higher among females,” said Dr.Mikheal.

The authors of the study point out the fact that research is limited due to a lack of data regarding primary health events and personal information about the lifestyle (alcohol consumption or smoking habits, as well as BMI) which could have resulted in underestimating the severity of certain diseases.

It is important to remember it was conducted in the Swedish population (which in this case was mostly male) therefore it is not specifically related to other populations. It is interesting to note that the majority of the

large-scale epidemiological research

The studies to date have been carried out until now have been conducted Caucasians. In the end, little information is available about frequency of cluster headaches in other populations.

Concerning the possibility of disparities between races Dr. Ran pointed out:

“It is not easy to conclude that there isn’t any distinction in cluster headache cases across different nations. It is more likely we observe differences due to socioeconomic factors rather than race. We’ve previously observed that the absence of sickness among patients suffering from cluster headaches is greater in subgroups with less education, for instance the latter is likely to be due to socioeconomic status that is also believed to be associated with the overall state of health.”

In discussing the next steps of the research when discussing the next steps for the work, Dr. Ran stated that the next step is important to look into the sub-groups with higher risk.

“Having identified certain groups of people, we’ve identified those with mental health issues and heart diseases as risk groups with special risks and we are looking forward to studying these groups in more depth,” she said.

If you are suffering from cluster headaches and cluster headaches, the doctor Dr. Goadbsy advised them to “seek assistance from an association for patients, like OUCH(U.K.) or consult an experienced physician who has dealt with cluster headaches.”