Objectives

To characterize the short‐term prognosis of a clinical population of pediatric and young adult patients with migraine and explore predictors of clinical worsening while in care.

Methods

This was a retrospective study of all migraine patients seen at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Headache Center from 09/01/2006 to 12/31/2017, who had at least 1 follow‐up visit within 1‐3 months of the index visit analyzed. Included data were: age, sex, race, primary ICHD diagnosis, chronic migraine, medication overuse, history of status migrainosus, BMI percentile, headache frequency, headache severity, PedMIDAS score, allodynia, preventive treatment type, lifestyle habits, disease duration, depressive and anxiety symptoms. Clinical worsening was defined as an increase in 4 or more headache days per month between the index visit and the follow‐up visit.

Results

Data for 13,160 visit pairs (index and follow‐up), from 5316 patients, were analyzed. Clinical worsening occurred in only 14.5% (1908/13,160), whereas a reduction in headache frequency was observed in 56.8% of visit intervals (7475/13,160), with 34.8% of the intervals (4580/13,160) showing a reduction of 50% or greater. The change in headache frequency was minimal (increase in 0‐3 headaches/month) in 28.7% of intervals (3737/13,160). In the multivariable model, the odds of worsening were significantly higher with increasing age, female sex, chronic migraine, status migrainosus, depressive symptoms, higher PedMIDAS scores, and use of nutraceuticals, whereas the odds of worsening were lower for summer visits, caffeine drinkers, higher headache frequencies, and use of pharmaceuticals.

Conclusions

The majority of pediatric patients who receive multimodal interdisciplinary care for migraine improve over time. Our findings highlight a set of clinical features that may help in identifying specific factors that may contribute to an unfavorable short‐term prognosis.

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