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Benign vascular sexual headache and exertional headache: interrelationships and long term prognosis.
  1. P L Silbert,
  2. R H Edis,
  3. E G Stewart-Wynne,
  4. S S Gubbay
  1. Department of Neurology, Royal Perth Hospital, Western Australia.

    Abstract

    There is a definite relationship between the vascular type of benign sexual headache and benign exertional headache. Forty five patients with benign vascular sexual headache were reviewed. Twenty seven (60%) experienced benign vascular sexual headache alone and eighteen (40%) had experienced both benign vascular sexual headache and benign exertional headache on at least one occasion. The mean age was 34.3 years with a male:female ratio of 5.4:1. Thirty patients with a history of benign vascular sexual headache were followed for an average of 74 months. A personal history of migraine was found in 47% of cases and a family history of migraine in 30%. Forty one per cent of patients with benign vascular sexual headache alone had recurrences after diagnosis, and stress and fatigue were considered major contributing factors to the initial and recurrent headache. Nine patients had experienced benign vascular sexual headache and benign exertional headache within 72 hours of each other on at least one occasion, often with a residual headache between the two. Four patients experienced their benign vascular sexual headache and benign exertional headache separated by months to years. The prognosis of benign vascular sexual headache and the clinical and possible pathophysiological relationships between benign vascular sexual headache and benign exertional headache are discussed. Knowledge of the interrelationships of these varieties of headache is valuable in the counselling of patients.

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