Some facts and figures about migraine

M

igraine is an extraordinarily prevalent neurological disease, affecting 38 million men, women and children in the U.S. and 1 billion worldwide.

Everyone either knows someone who suffers from migraine, or struggles with migraine themselves.

• Migraine is the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world.

• Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households includes someone with migraine.

• Amazingly, 12% of the population – including children – suffers from migraine.

• 18% of American women, 6% of men, and 10% of children experience migraines.

• Migraine is most common between the ages of 25 and 55.

• Migraine tends to run in families. About 90% of migraine sufferers have a family history of migraine.

Most people don’t realize how serious and incapacitating migraine can be. 

• Migraine is the 6th most disabling illness in the world.

• 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.

• While most sufferers experience attacks once or twice a month, more than 4 million people have chronic daily migraine, with at least 15 migraine days per month.

• More than 90% of sufferers are unable to work or function normally during their migraine.


Migraine is not just a bad headache

• Migraine is an extremely incapacitating collection of neurological symptoms.

• It’s typically a severe throbbing recurring pain, usually on one side of the head. But in about 1/3 of attacks, both sides are affected.

• Attacks are often accompanied by one or more of the following disabling symptoms: visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell, and tingling or numbness in the extremities or face.

• About 25% of migraine sufferers also have a visual disturbance called an aura, which usually lasts less than an hour.

• In 15-20% of attacks, other neurological symptoms occur before the actual head pain.

• Attacks usually last between 4 and 72 hours.


For many sufferers, migraine is a chronic disease that significantly diminishes their quality of life.

• More than 4 million people experience chronic daily migraine – with at least 15 migraine days per month.

• Medication overuse is the most common reason why episodic migraine turns chronic.

• Depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances are common for those with chronic migraine.

Migraine disproportionately affects women.

• Migraine affects about 28 million women in the U.S.

• Before puberty, boys are affected more than girls, but during adolescence, the risk of migraine and its severity rises in girls.

• Roughly 1 in 4 women will experience migraine in their lives.

• Three times as many women as men suffer from migraine in adulthood. 

—Heath News Network