Also called “migraine transformation” because in most it begins with episodic migraine – the migraine pattern then gradually transforms to one of near daily headache.
Near constant headaches are often a mix of migraine and ‘tension-type’ headaches.
Approximately 1% of adults meet the criteria for chronic migraine.
90% of chronic migraine patients are women who first had episodic migraine without aura.
Up to 30% of those with migraine may eventually develop chronic migraine.
The migraine pattern ‘transforms’ to that of chronic migraine in about 3% of episodic migraine patients each year.
Those at highest risk of migraine transformation include:
- Women, especially Caucasian women.
- Those with at least one episodic migraine per week.
- Those with longer duration of disease – migraine usually began in teens or 20’s – ‘transforms’ in 40’s.
- Those who are overweight – obesity raises the risk of transformation to chronic migraine 5x.
- Those with sleep apnea or who snore.
- Those with a history of head injury.
- Those using acute migraine medications more than 2 days/week.
- Those who are ‘heavy’ users of caffeine.
- Those with major life stress may have a 3x greater risk of migraine transformation.
Early, effective treatment of migraine disease may reduce the risk of transformation.
Effective migraine prevention may reduce the risk of transformation.