Prevalence of multiple recurrent pain among adolescents: evidence form 42 countries

Inese Gobiņa, J. Villberg, J. Tynjälä, R. Välimaa, R. Whitehead, A. Villerusa

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


I. Gobina1, J. Villberg2, J. Tynjälä2, R. Välimaa2, R.D. Whitehead3, A. Villerusa1
1Riga Stradins University, Public Health and Epidemiology, Riga, Latvia
2University of Jyväskylä, Department of Health Sciences, Jyväskylä, Finland
3University of St Andrews, School of Medicine- Child and Adolescent Health Research Unit, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Background and aims: We studied the prevalence of recurrent multiple pain and the pain combination by age and gender by evaluating the country-level variation of multiple pain using international data.
Methods: Data (n = 214 283) on 42 countries and regions from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study were used, including representative samples of 11-, 13- and 15-year-olds from general schools in participating countries. Pains (headache, stomachache, backache) occurring weekly during the last six months were classified as ‘recurrent’ and pain reported at least in two sites as ‘multiple’.
Results: A total of 20.6% of adolescents had multiple recurrent pain varying from 13.2% in Armenia to 33.8% in Israel; of those, a total of 35.5% had pain in all three pain sites, 30.6% - had the combination of headaches and stomach-ache, 23.8% - headache and backache but 10.1% - stomach-ache and backache. The log-linear analysis showed significant associations between any two pain types.
Conclusions: There is a huge country variation in multiple pain among adolescents, which can't be explained by the differences in the study methodology. In research and clinical practice, boys with recurrent pain may call for special attention.

Original languageEnglish
PageseP47: Abstract: 153
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event10th Congress of the European Pain Federation EFIC - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 6 Sept 20179 Sept 2017
Conference number: 10


Congress10th Congress of the European Pain Federation EFIC
Abbreviated titleEFIC2017
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


Dive into the research topics of 'Prevalence of multiple recurrent pain among adolescents: evidence form 42 countries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this