In the U.S., more than 37 million people suffer from migraines. Some migraine studies estimate that 13 percent of adults in the U.S. population have migraines, and 2-3 million migraine suffers are chronic.
Almost 5 million in the U.S. experience at least one migraine attack per month, while more than 11 million people blame migraines for causing moderate to severe disability.
ABOUT MIGRAINE SUFFERERS
Migraines occur most often in:
Women (18 percent of women compared to 6 percent of men)
People between the ages of 35 and 55
Lowest income groups
More Migraine Statistics:
91 percent miss work or can’t function normally during migraine attack
More than 70 percent have a family history of migraine
70 percent of those in a Canadian study said migraines caused problems in their relationships
70 percent of all migraine sufferers are women
69 percent have consulted a physician at some time seeking treatment for migraine pain
63 percent have one or more migraine attacks monthly
59 percent missed family or social events
53 percent have severe disability requiring reducing activities or bed rest
51 percent said migraines cut in half their work or school productivity
Almost half of all migraine sufferers are have not been diagnosed
49 percent said they had to restrict activities for at least one day during a migraine episode
49 percent restricted their activities at least one day during migraine attacks
47 percent of people who have symptoms that meet the guidelines to be diagnosed with migraines thought they had a tension headache, sinus headache or another type of headache
31 percent missed at least one day of work or school in past three months
25 percent have one or more migraines a week
24 percent have gone to the emergency room because the migraine pain was so severe
6 percent saw a doctor at a hospital for a migraine in the past three months
The most common migraine symptoms reported by migraine sufferers are:
Throbbing, pulsating pain — 85 percent
Light sensitivity — 80 percent
Sound sensitivity — 76 percent
Nausea — 73 percent
Pain on one side — 59 percent
Vision changes, blurred vision — 44 percent
Aura — 36 percent
Vomiting — 29 percent
(Note: these figures are from the American Migraine Study II of almost 4,000 migraine sufferers in 1999.)
Economic Impact of Migraine:
Because migraines strike during the most productive, working years for sufferers, the pain takes a financial toll. The World Health Organization’s disability rating for migraine, ranks migraine as the 19th most common reason for disability. Migraine sufferers use twice the amount of prescription drugs and visit doctors and emergency rooms twice as often as those who don’t have the disorder.
One study estimates the loss of productivity in the U.S. to be between $5.6 billion to $17.2 billion per year because of missed work. The average migraine sufferer misses two days of work per year. Some who suffer from persistent migraines work during a migraine attack, which they say lowers productivity. It is estimated that migraines are the reason for 36 million days of bed rest, plus 21.5 million days of restricted activity.
Migraine sufferers also spend much more on their health care than those who don’t suffer from the disorder. Migraine sufferers use 2.5 times the amount of prescription drugs and have six times as many diagnostic tests and services. The average monthly healthcare costs for migraine sufferers is $145, while those who don’t suffer from migraines pay an average of $89 per month.