Table 3

Frequency of symptom combinations for headache and cognitive features in 1 or 6 months before diagnosis

Brain tumour statusPPV††(%)PLR (95% CI)
Case (n=8184)Control (n=28 110)
Number with symptomsSensitivityNumber with symptomsSpecificity
Headache
 Headache plus (1 month)476(5.8)81(99.7)0.718.1 (16.6 to 19.8)
 Headache only (1 month)687(8.4)437(98.4)0.13.92 (3.65 to 4.21)
 Headache plus (6 months)569(7.0)116(99.6)0.616.3 (15.0 to 17.6)
 Headache only (6 months)594(7.3)402(98.6)0.13.57 (3.30 to 3.86)
 Headache +depression (6 months)83(1.0)32(99.9)0.49.90 (7.99 to 12.3)
 Headache +cognition (6 months)47(0.6)2(100.0)5.9165 (123 to 221)
 Headache +weakness (6 months)35(0.4)1(100.0)4.4122 (87 to 171)
 Headache +nausea (6 months)167(2.0)11(100.0)2.055 (47 to 64)
Cognitive*
 Cognitive plus (1 month)325(4.0)48(99.8)1.539 (35 to 44)
 Cognitive only (1 month)435(5.3)140(99.5)0.718.9 (17.2 to 20.7)
 Cognitive plus (6 months)379(4.6)69(99.8)1.232.0 (29.0 to 35.3)
 Cognitive only (6 months)381(4.7)119(99.6)0.719.6 (17.8 to 21.7)
 Cognitive +depression (6 months)62(0.8)20(99.9)0.512.9 (10.1 to 16.6)
 Cognitive +headache (6 months)111(1.4)4(100.0)7.2205 (169 to 249)
 Cognitive +weakness (6 months)19(0.2)1(100.0)9.6282 (176 to 451)
 Cognitive +nausea (6 months)60(0.7)5(100.0)3.596 (74 to 124)
  • *This cognitive variable is a composite of cognition, concentration and confusion symptoms.

  • † Calculated after weighting for population sampling.

  • PLR, positive likelihood ratio; PPV, positive predictive value.