Open Access

Hangover headache: accompanying symptoms. Vågå study of headache epidemiology

The Journal of Headache and PainOfficial Journal of the Italian Society for the Study of Headaches5:130

Received: 2 March 2004

Accepted: 23 September 2004


As part of the Vågå study of headache epidemiology, the symptomatology of hangover headache has been studied in 1122 parishioners in the age group 18–65 years; male/female ratio 1.14. The following criteria for hangover headache were adhered to: (1) intoxication by alcohol, (2) headache, and (3) onset of headache >3 hours after discontinuation of drinking. As demonstrated elsewhere, headache was present in 64% of the cases. Throbbing was present in 85% of those affected, nausea in 60% and vomiting in 25%, with significant male preponderance for all three. Photo- and phonophobia were more rarely present. Not only does hangover headache seem to be more frequent in males—as previously demonstrated; it also seems to be more severe in males. Ninety per cent of the hangover headache victims felt that the gastro-intestinal symptoms originated in the gastro-intestinal tract and were not secondary to the headache.

Key words

Alcohol Hangover headache Hangover Gastrointestinal symptoms