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Migraine Statistics

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Migraine Statistics

Over 39 million people in the United States suffer from migraines. Worldwide, the number climbs to over 1 billion.  Many don’t realize that a migraine isn’t just a “headache”, but is a neurological disease, which affects people of all ages regardless of gender.

Some statistics:

  • Nearly 25% of households in the United States, have someone who suffers from migraines
  • Migraines are genetic with nearly 90% of migraine sufferers having a family history of this illness
  • In the United States, an estimated 18% of women suffer from, 10% of children, and 6% of men
  • Migraine is the 3rdmost prevalent illness in the world and the 6th most disabling illness
  • Every 10 seconds, someone in the U.S. goes to the emergency room complaining of head pain, and approximately 1.2 million visits are for acute migraine attacks.
  • Most migraine sufferers have attacks once or twice a month, but more than 4 million people experience chronic daily migraine
  • About 28 million women in the United States suffer from migraine.
  • Almost 9 out of 10 chronic migraine sufferers are women.
  • 25% of women suffer from migraine during their lifetime.
  • Women are 3 times as likely as men to suffer from migraine as adults.

The following is sourced from the Migraine Research Foundation, which is an organization a migraine sufferer should support.

Migraine is a public health issue with serious social and economic consequences and healthcare and lost productivity costs associated with migraine are estimated to be as high as $36 billion annually in the U.S.

In 2015, the medical cost of treating chronic migraine was more than $5.4 billion, however, these sufferers spent over $41 billion on treating their entire range of conditions.

  • Healthcare costs are 70% higher for a family with a migraine sufferer than a non-migraine affected family.
  • American employers lose more than $13 billion each year as a result of 113 million lost work days due to migraine.
  • U.S. headache sufferers receive $1 billion worth of brain scans each year.
  • Migraine sufferers, like those who suffer from other chronic illnesses, experience the high costs of medical services, too little support, and limited access to quality care.
  • Beyond the burden of a migraine attack itself, having migraine increases the risk for other physical and psychiatric conditions.
  • Migraine remains a poorly understood disease that is often undiagnosed and undertreated.

In 2018, there are about 500 certified headache specialists in the U.S. and 39 million sufferers.

  • More than half of all migraine sufferers are never diagnosed.
  • The vast majority of migraine sufferers do not seek medical care for their pain.
  • Only 4% of migraine sufferers who seek medical care consult headache and pain specialists.
  • Although 25% of sufferers would benefit from preventive treatment, only 12% of all sufferers receive it.

In spite of the vast prevalence of migraine and its serious effect on individuals, families and the economy, research into the causes and treatment of migraine is severely underfunded.

  • In 2015, NIH funding for migraine research was just $.50 per sufferer.
  • The Migraine Research Foundation was founded in 2006 to address this lack of funding.
  • Since 2006, MRF has awarded 72 grants to 91 investigators in 12 countries in such areas as basic science, genetics, childhood migraine, and studies investigating new treatments and therapies.
  • 100% of all donations go to fund research and help sufferers as members of MRF’s Board of Directors cover all of the operating expenses.

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