Disability and economic loss caused by headache among information technology workers in Korea

Byung Kun Kim, Soo Jin Cho, Chang Soo Kim, Fumihiko Sakai, David W. Dodick, Min Kyung Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purpose Headache disorders are a leading cause of disability globally. However, there is inadequate information available about these disorders and the related economic loss in the workplace in Asian countries. Information technology (IT) jobs are intellec-tually and cognitively challenging, and hence IT workers are a suitable population for assessing headache disorders and related economic loss. Methods We sent invitation emails to all employees of selected IT companies. A comprehensive Web-based questionnaire regarding headache characteristics, disability, quality of life, and economic loss was completed by 522 participants from 8 companies. Results The participants included 450 (86.2%) who had experienced headache more than once during the previous year. The frequencies of migraine, probable migraine (PM), and ten-sion-type headache (TTH) were 18.2%, 21.1%, and 37.0%, respectively. The Migraine Disability Assessment score was higher for participants with migraine [median and interquartile range, 3.0 (0.0–6.0)] than for those with PM [0.0 (0.0–2.0), p<0.001] and TTH [0.0 (0.0–1.0), p<0.001]. The estimated annual economic losses caused by migraine per person associated with absenteeism and presenteeism were USD 197.5±686.1 and USD 837.7±22.04 (mean±standard de-viation), respectively. The total annual economic loss per person caused by migraine (USD 1,023.3±1,972.7) was higher than those caused by PM (USD 424.8±1,209.1, p<0.001) and TTH (USD 197.6±636.4, p<0.001). Conclusions Migraine, PM, and TTH were found to be prevalent among IT workers in Korea. Disability and economic loss were significantly greater in participants with migraine than in those with PM or TTH;.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-557
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurology (Korea)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Cost of illness
  • Disability
  • Migraine
  • Quality of life
  • Tension-type headache
  • Work performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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