Facts and Statistics for Migraine and Headache Disorders

Posted by Kerrie Smyres on 23rd Jun 2015

In honor of Migraine and Headache Awareness month, here are some facts about migraine, cluster headache, new daily persistent headache, and headache disorders in general.

  • 91% of people with migraine cannot work or function normally during an attack. 53% are severely impaired and often require bedrest. (Lipton, et al, Headache, 2001)
  • 54% of people with migraine have at least one attack each month. 13% have one or more more attacks each week. (Steiner et al, Cephalalgia, 2003)
  • $31 billion is a conservative estimate of the economic cost from headache disorders in the U.S. each year (Schwedt et al, Headache 2009)
  • Up to 4% of adults worldwide have a headache or migraine on 15 or more days each month. (World Health Organization, headache fact sheet, 2012)
  • 55% of people with cluster headache experience suicidal ideation. (Rozen & Fishman, Headache, 2012)
  • 5.2 million emergency room visits each year are due to headache. (Vinson, Annals of Emergency Medicine, 2002)
  • Tension-type headache is the 2nd most common illness worldwide. Migraine is 3rd. (Steiner et al, Cephalalgia, 2003)
  • People with new daily persistent headache often remember the date or circumstance when the headache began. In one study, 82% knew the exact day the headache started. (Li & Rozen, Cephalalgia, 2002)
  • Migraine is the 7th highest cause of disability worldwide. It is by far the most disabling neurological condition. (Steiner et al, Cephalalgia, 2013)
  • In years of healthy life lost to disability, migraine is in the top 20 of all diseases. (World Health Organization, The World Health Report 2001)
  • A comprehensive World Health Organization study found that severe, continuous migraine is as disabling as quadriplegia, dementia, and active psychosis (Shapiro & Goadsby, Cephalalgia, September 2007)
  • It takes an average of more than five years for people with cluster headache to get an accurate diagnosis. (Rozen & Fishman, Headache, 2012)
  • Migraine is the 7th highest cause of disability worldwide. It is by far the most disabling neurological condition. (Steiner et al, Cephalalgia, 2003)

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