About 75% of all migraine sufferers are women. Although the incidence of migraine is similar for boys and girls during childhood, it increases in girls after puberty. Migraine most commonly affects women between the ages of 20 - 45.
Fluctuations of female hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, appear to increase the risk for migraines and their severity in some women. About half of women with migraines report headaches associated with their menstrual cycle. For some women, migraines also tend to be worse during the first trimester of pregnancy, but improve during the last trimester.
Migraine headaches typically affect people between the ages of 15 - 55. However, migraine also affects about 5 - 10% of all children. Unlike migraine in adults, migraines in children occur equally in boys and girls. Studies indicate that many children with migraine eventually stop having attacks when they reach adulthood or transition to less severe tension-type headaches. Children with a family history of migraine may be more likely to continue having migraines.
Migraines tend to run in families. About 70 - 80% of patients with migraine have a family history of the condition.
Medical Conditions Associated with Migraines
Many people with migraine have or have a history of depression, anxiety, stroke, epilepsy, irritable bowel syndrome, or high blood pressure. These conditions do not necessarily increase the risk for migraine, but they are associated with it.
Review Date: 11/04/2010
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.