The study found that approximately 12 percent of Americans have migraines, and approximately 40 percent could benefit from preventive therapies. (1)

Of migraine sufferers in the study, only one in five currently use preventive therapy. (1)

Nine out of 10 migraine sufferers report they can’t “function normally” during days in which a migraine strikes, and nearly three in 10 require bed rest. (1)

More than 25 percent of migraine sufferers missed at least one day of work over the past three months due to a migraine. (1)

Nearly 50 percent of sufferers report their migraines prevented them from doing household chores. (1)

Approximately 30 percent of migraine sufferers did not participate in a family or social activity due to a migraine. (1)

The study found that more than half of migraine sufferers only take over-the-counter (non-prescription) medications or none at all. (1)

Nearly half of migraine sufferers have never used preventive therapies (43.3 percent) as part of their treatment, however, preventive therapy may be an appropriate option to discuss with their healthcare provider. (1)

Almost 98 percent of migraine sufferers take medications for temporary headache relief. (1)

Chronic and Transformed Migraine

The prevalence of CM/TM (Chronic Migraine/ Transformed Migraine) in the United States has been estimated at 2%. (10)

Among individuals with episodic migraine, the average annual incidence of TM is 2.5% (10)

The odds of transition to TM from CM increased with elevated monthly barbiturate exposure. (10)

Probable Migraine

Probable migraine is a prevalent migraine subtype fulfilling all but one criterion for migraine with or without aura. (11)

The prevalence of PM is 4.5% (3.9% in men and 5.1% in women). (11)

97% of PM sufferers used acute treatments. (11)

Half of PM sufferers never used a migraine-preventative treatment and only one in ten were currently using preventative medication. (11)

According to an expert panel, one in four PM sufferers should be offered or considered for prevention. (11)

The Disabling Nature of Migraine

Migraine is the 19th leading cause of years lived with disability among both males and females of all ages combined. (6)

Migraine is the 12th leading cause of years lived with disability among females of all ages. (6)

In the Global Burden of Disease Study, published by the World Health Organization, severe migraine was ranked in the highest of seven disability classes along with psychosis, dementia and quadriplegia. (3)

76% of migraineurs worried that they would have migraines for the rest of their lives, and 37% worried about migraines between attacks. (5)

Migraine Healthcare

Medical schools averaged only 1 hour of preclinical and 2 hours of clinical headache teaching. (2)

Only about half of migraineurs know that they have migraine. (7)

The prevalence of migraine headache is 29% in patients presenting with any complaint to their primary care physician. (4)

Half of health care professionals and patient pairs do not agree on the extent of impairment in the patient. (8)

The majority of patients who ever received a prescription preventive specifically for migraine discontinued using it. (9)

12% of migraineurs indicated that they were taking migraine preventive medication as opposed to 98% using acute treatment for their migraine attacks. (9)


Survey participants with a history of migraine had significantly more physical symptoms (aside from headache) than persons without such a history as well as higher lifetime rates of major depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, phobia, and suicide attempts. (12)

Among respondents in the “severe” category of interictal burden, almost half met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision criteria for an anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and a major depressive disorder. (13)


  1. Lipton RB, Bigal ME, Diamond M, Freitag F, Reed ML, Stewart WF; American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) Advisory Group. Migraine prevalence, disease burden, and the need for preventative therapy. Neurology. 2007;68(5):343-349
  2. Finkel AG. American academic headache specialists in neurology: Practice characteristics and culture. Cephalalgia. 2004;24:522-527.
  3. The Global Burden of Disease: 2004 Update [Accessed 2011 Oct.15]. Available from:
  4. US Waiting Room Study: Headache World 2000 symposia. Pfizer; unpublished data on file.
  5. New survey reveals worrying between attacks can extend suffering for migraineurs [press release]. Titusville, NJ: Ortho-McNeil; June 8 2006.
  6. The World Health Report 2001 – Mental Health: New Understanding, New Hope
  7. Lipton RB, Hamelsky SW, Stewart WF. Epidemiology and impact of migraine. In: Silberstein SD, Lipton RB, Dalessio DJ, eds. Wolff’s Headache and Other Head Pain. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2001:85-107
  8. Buse DC, Rupnow FT, Lipton RB. Assessing and managing all aspects of migraine: migraine attacks, migraine-related functional impairment, common comorbidities, and quality of life. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. May 2009; 84(5):422-435.
  9. Diamond S, Bigal ME, Silberstein S, Loder E, Reed M, Lipton RB. Patterns of diagnosis and acute and preventive treatment for migraine in the United States: results from the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention Study. Headache 2007;47:355-363.
  10. Scher AI, Stewart W, Lieberman J, Lipton R. Prevalence of frequent headache in a population sample. Headache. 1998; 38:497-506.
  11. Silberstein S, Loder E, Diamond S, Reed ML, Bigal ME, Lipton RB. Probable migraine in the United States: results of the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) Study. Cephalagia, 2007;27:220-229
  12. Breslau N, Davis GC. Migraine, physical health and psychiatric disorder: a prospective epidemiologic study in young adults. J Psychiatr Res. 1993; 27:211-221
  13. Buse DC, Bigal ME, Rupnow M, et al. The Migraine Interictal Buren Scale (MIBS): a new instrument to measure global burden of migraine between attacks.  Presented at the 13th Congress of the International Headache Congress; June 28-July 1, 2007; Stockholm, Sweden. Abstract D099 and American Psychiatric Association.  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  4th  Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press; 2000. Text Revision.