Calcified neurocysticercosis and headache in an endemic village: A case-control study nested to a population-based cohort

Oscar H. Del Brutto, Ana M. Robles, Robertino M. Mera, Aldo F. Costa, Elizabeth Darsan, Lućia Milla, Jessica Montes, Julio Lama, Victor J. Del Brutto, Mauricio Zambrano, Mark J. Sedler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Headache in patients with calcified neurocysticercosis (NCC) is probably common but has been largely overlooked. We aimed to assess the presence, characteristics, and diagnosis of headache across patients with calcified NCC and their matched controls. In this case-control study nested to a population-based cohort, Atahualpa residents aged ≥ 20 years with calcified NCC were identifiedas case patients and paired 1:1 to age- and gender-matched randomly selected controls. A culturally adapted questionnaire was derived from the EUROLIGHT. Headache diagnosis was established according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition. Conditional logistic regression models for matched paired data were fitted to assess the independent association between calcified NCC (as the exposure) and headache variables, after adjusting for education, alcohol intake, depression, and epilepsy. The selection process generated 106 case patients and their matched controls. Lifetime headache prevalence (odds ratio [OR]: 4.18; 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 1.79-9.75; P = 0.001), current headaches (OR: 4.19; 95% CI: 1.92-9.16; P < 0.001), and intense headaches (OR: 9.47; 95% CI: 2.88-31.19; P < 0.001) were more frequent among cases than in controls. In addition, migraine (but not other forms of headache) was more frequent among subjects with calcified NCC (OR: 4.89; 95% CI: 2.36-11.39; P < 0.001). This study shows a robust epidemiological association between headache - particularly migraine - and calcified NCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)729-734
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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