Comorbidity of pain problems and depressive symptoms in young women: Results from a cross-sectional survey among women aged 15-24 in Hungary

János M. Réthelyi, Rita Berghammer, András Ittzés, Irena Szumska, György Purebl, Csilla Csoboth

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Frequent headaches and musculoskeletal pain problems were assessed as part of a cross-sectional health survey in a representative sample of 3615 young Hungarian women, aged 15-24 (mean age: 19.0 years). The representative sample was obtained by a multilevel stratified sampling procedure based on national statistical data, the refusal rate was 6%. Depressive symptomatology was assessed as well using the shortened form of the Beck Depression Inventory. The overall prevalence of frequent headaches was 43.8% in the sample, 25.8% of the investigated population reported chronic musculoskeletal pain problems. The co-prevalence rate of depression was significantly higher in the group of interviewees reporting pain problems, 11.2% in the group indicating frequent headaches (χ2 = 53.1, p < 0.001), 10.3% in the group reporting musculoskeletal pain problems (χ2 = 12.4, p < 0.001). In contrast, the prevalence of depressive symptomatology was 4.6% and 6.6% in the subgroups denying frequent headaches and musculoskeletal pain, respectively. The prevalence of chronic pain problems decreased with higher age, increased with the smaller size of residence and was lower in the non-student employment group, however, these differences across sociodemographic variables did not remain significant if tested by a multivariate logistic regression analysis. The high co-prevalence rates of depression in interviewees reporting chronic pain problem draws attention to the development of such secondary health problems and underscores the importance of early prevention. Epidemiological studies provide data for the better planning and management of prevention programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Pain
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004



  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-sectional survey
  • Depression
  • Frequent headaches
  • Musculoskeletal pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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