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Tag Archive: Menstrual Migraine

The global impact of migraine – research facts

Migraine Incidence and Demographics

* Migraine is a disease affecting approximately 30 million Americans, equivalent to roughly 13% of the adult U.S. population, or one migraine sufferer in every four U.S. households.

* Migraine is much more common among women than men. Migraine affects approximately 18% of women and 6% of men.

* The prevalence of migraine is widespread during the most productive adult years, between the ages of 25 and 55. The incidence of migraine increases from childhood through adolescence and early adult life. The highest frequency of migraine attacks is observed in 35-45 year-old patients, with the prevalence declining somewhat among older patients.

* The incidence of migraine has been on the rise in the United States. From 1980 to 1989, the prevalence of migraine increased nearly 60%. From 1989 to 1999, the number of migraine sufferers in the United States increased from 24 million to 28 million.

Perspective on menstrual migraine

About 60% of women who have migraine experience attacks before or during their menstrual period, although only about 10% to 15% will have migraine only when they have their menstrual period. The majority of women will have migraine at other times of their cycle but will experience attacks of greater severity one to two days before or during their menstrual period.

Menstrual migraine is common

Menstrual migraine is common to approximately 60% of women with migraine. Fluctuating hormonal levels account to some extent for the higher prevalence of migraine among women than among men. Two-thirds to three-fourths of all migraine sufferers are female.

However, the incidence of migraine in the pediatric population is higher among boys than girls. With puberty, the percent of boys with migraine decreases, whereas that of females with migraine increases.

Some researchers and clinicians make a distinction between “menstrually associated migraine” (MAM – sometimes called menstrually related migraine) and ‘true’ menstrual migraine. In the former, migraine may occur at any time of the month, but is more frequent at or around the time of menstruation. In the latter, migraine exclusively occurs at or around the time of menstruation.

The distinction does not appear to be clinically relevant. In either case, migraine at time of menstruation is widely recognized as being more difficult to treat, of longer duration, and generally more painful than migraine not associated with menstruation.