Differences in treatment persist in people with headaches

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There are inequalities in the treatment of people with headache disorders due to race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status and geography, according to a review article published in the online issue of June 9, 2021. Neurology.

The article, developed by 16 experts, review existing research on headaches and and proposes solutions to address disparities.

“Research shows that headache differences persist for black, Latino, and Native American and Alaska Native people,” said the author of the article Jessica Kiarashi, MD, of UT Southwestern Medical Center of Dallas, Texas and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “Between racial and , Native Americans and Alaska Natives have the highest prevalence of migraines and headache disorders, Latinos have the highest headaches and greatest neurological needs, and black men receive less attention. In addition, access to care is limited by a low level and geographical barriers “.

Kiarashi noted that while recent studies have found that the rate of migraines and severe headaches is roughly the same among white, black, and Latino people, at around 15%, the rate among Native Americans and Native Americans ‘Alaska is 19%. Latinos are 50% less likely to be diagnosed with a migraine than . Black people visiting emergency services with headaches were 4.8 times less likely than white people with the same complaint of receiving an imaging scan to diagnose the cause of the headache.

Among the factors that contribute to these disparities are discrimination, the , state of insurance, lack of headache specialists in some areas of the country and lack of representation of people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds in the investigation, according to the review article.

“Race is a social construct that, as a vehicle for systemic racism, has profound impacts,” Kiarashi said. “The abolition of these racial, socio-economic and geographical inequalities would require important cultural changes in our society. It is a call for reflection and action at the individual, community, institutional and social levels. movement for changes for a long time “.

The article proposes numerous solutions that could improve equity and reduce disparities in the treatment of headaches. These include clinical strategies such as the use of telemedicine to reduce geographical disparities and the detection of problems such as trauma, housing stability, and income to better determine unmet needs; vocational training strategies, such as better headache education in medical school and working to recruit and retain headache specialists from groups that are underrepresented in medicine; and strategies to address disparities in research, such as working to recruit people from underrepresented groups in research studies and increase funding for headache research.


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Citation: Differences in treatment persist for people with headaches (2021, June 9) retrieved June 9, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-disparities-treatment-persist-people -headache.html

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