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A study of Italian families with cluster headache


A Danish genetic study showed increased risk of cluster headache (CH) among relatives of CH patients. We studied the families of 191 CH patients (118 males, 73 females; mean age 45.9 years) attending the Milan Headache Center. Information on 3589 relatives was collected by direct interview of the probands (n = 118) or by mailed questionnaire (n = 73). The diagnostic criteria of the IHS were used. A positive family history was found in 19% (37 of 191) of the families. A total of 32 first-degree (32 of 1036, 3.1%) and 15 second-degree (15 of 2553, 0.6%) relatives were affected. The relative risk of CH was 26.89 (95% CI, 17.57–36.21) in the first-degree relatives and 4.35 (95% CI, 2.13–5.21) in second-degree relatives. This study shows increased familial risk of cluster headache in an Italian population and confirms that cluster headache is, in some families, and inherited disorder.

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Leone, M., Russell, M., Rigamonti, A. et al. A study of Italian families with cluster headache. J Headache Pain 1 (Suppl 2), S165–S167 (2000).

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