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Migraine Facts

Compiled by Gayathri | Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team on Apr 02, 2014

Migraine is a headache disorder that leads to not only severe pain but also disability. Migraine sufferers have recurrent attacks of life long headaches. The frequency of attacks can be anywhere between once a year and once a week and can last for hours or persist for 2 to 3 days. The warning symptom of migraine is called aura, which arises before the headache begins. It is believed to be caused by the release of ‘pain-producing inflammatory substances’ around the nerves and blood vessels of the brain and this leads to the excruciating headaches.


Key Facts About Migraine

  1. Migraine is one of the top 20 causes of disability among adults of all age groups.
  2. Women sufferers account for 70% of all people with migraine.
  3. Almost 70% have a family history of migraine. If one parent suffers from migraine, there is a 40% chance of the child suffering from migraine. If both parents suffer, the chance rises to 90%.
  4. Migraine most often begins at puberty and affects those usually between the ages of 35 and 45 years.
  5. In UK, every day 190,000 migraine attacks are estimated.
  1. Because of migraine, 25 million days are lost from work or school and 91% miss work or can’t function normally during migraine attack. It is estimated in a study that $5.6 billion to $17.2 billion is lost in productivity per year because of missed work in the USA alone and the average migraine sufferer misses two days of work per year
  2. Depression is 3 times more common in people with migraine or severe headaches than in healthy individuals.
  3. 47% of people who were diagnosed with migraines had reports that showed they had a tension headache, sinus headache or another type of headache.
  4. Almost 69% of patients seek consultation with a physician at some time seeking treatment for migraine pain.
  5. Migraine is the least publicly funded when compared to all neurological illnesses relative to its economic condition.


  1. http://www.migrainetrust.org/key-statistics
  2. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000709.htm
  3. http://www.migraineresearchfoundation.org/fact-sheet.html
  4. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/migraine.html

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