Risk Factors for Headache in the UK Military: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analyses

Research Type: 
Concussion Literature

Summary: The effect of mental disorders and deployment factors on headache severity and prevalence, and the impact of headache on functional impairment, were evaluated through a survey of randomly selected British military personnel to study the health consequences of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Headache severity in the last month of deployment, and functional impairment, were the main outcomes. Forty-six percent complained of headache, half of whom endorsed moderate or severe headache. Severe headache was strongly associated with probable post-traumatic stress disorder (miltinomial odds ratio (MOR) 9.6), psychological distress (MOR 6.15), multiple physical symptoms (MOR 18.2), and self-reported mild traumatic brain injury (MOR 3.5) after adjustment for service demographic factors. Moderate and severe headache were associated with functional impairment, but the association was partially explained by mental disorders. Mental ill health was also associated with reporting moedrate and severe headache. Deployment and a combat role were not associated with headache. Moderate and severe headache were more strongly associated with mental disorders tha with mild traumatic brain injury.

Citation:  Rona, RJ, Jones, M, Goodwin, L, Hull, L, Wessely, S. 2013. Risk Factors for Headache in the UK Military: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analyses.
Publication Date: 
2013