Open Access

Skin-fold thickness and reproducibility of the skin-roll test: Vågå study

The Journal of Headache and PainOfficial Journal of the Italian Society for the Study of Headaches4:44


In the Vågå study of headache epidemiology, the “skinroll test” was carried out at the top (“arch”) of the shoulder girdle. For this purpose, a skin caliper (Servier, Leiden) was used. A total of 1796 parishioners aged 18–65 years (51% women) was examined. A repeat test was also carried out. The skin-roll test consists of two components: measurement of skin-fold thickness and assessment of the pain level. The average arch skinfold thickness on the right side, was 15.0 (SD=5.9 mm; range, 3–60) and was significantly lower in men (mean, 13.8 mm) than in women (16.1 mm). Among the subjects without headache (n=246), the average skin-fold thickness was 14.3 (SD=5.7 mm). Immediately repeating the test revealed a measurement error >3 mm in 1.1% of cases. Asymmetry in the shoulder arch area exceeded the measurement error in 6.1% of the cases. The skin-fold thickness at an anterior site in the shoulder area was always less than that at the shoulder arch.

Key words

Skin-roll testHeadacheHemicraniaSkin-fold thicknessFibromyalgia