Interesting Migraine Facts and Stats to Build Awareness

Patient Expert

People often contact me and ask for specific facts and statistics about Migraine. The other day, someone even contacted me about a statistic to settle a bet. Are there times when some of those facts and statistics would come in handy for you?

This is National Migraine Awareness Month, and the theme is help make Migraines more visible! What better time to share some facts and statistics with you? Here we go...

  • More than 37 million Americans have Migraine disease. That's...

    • 18% of American women and

    • 6-8% of American men.

  • Approximately 3.2 million Americans have chronic Migraine. Chronic Migraine is defined as Migraine or tension-type headache 15 or more days a month. That means those with chronic Migraine are in pain more often than not, and some of them have Migraine or headache daily.

  • According to the World Health Organization, Migraine is responsible for at least 1% of the total U.S. medical disability burden.

  • According to the World Health Organization, severe Migraine attacks are as disabling as quadriplegia.

  • There are NO medications on the market that were originally developed for Migraine prevention.

  • Migraines can occur at any age from the very young to the elderly.

  • Non-specialist doctors get an average of four hours of education about all headache disorders during medical school. Neurologists get an average of 10.

  • Migraine without aura is the most common form of Migraine.

  • Only 25-30% of Migraineurs experience the aura phase of a Migraine attack.

  • Twenty-five percent of American families contain someone with Migraine.

  • Over 1,400 more American women with Migraine with aura die each year from cardiovascular diseases compared to women who don't have Migraine.

  • Suicide attempts are three times more likely among people with Migraine with aura compared to people without Migraine, regardless of whether or not they also have major depression.

Although it's Migraine Awareness Month, I'd prefer it to be Headache and Migraine Awareness Month, so here are some additional facts and statistics:

  • The U.S. annual direct and indirect economic costs of all headache disorders, including Migraine, exceed $31 billion.
  • Headache disorders are the most common neurological disorders, affecting more than 90% of all Americans.
  • Cluster headache is as prevalent as multiple sclerosis, and cluster attacks are among the most severe pain conditions known.
  • The pain of cluster headaches can be so severe that they're known as "suicide headaches."
  • The prevalence of chronic daily headache in U.S. soldiers after a deployment-related concussion is 20% higher than that of the general population.

Would you like more Migraine facts? Check out _Presenting Facts to Make Migraines Visible and Raise Awareness _.


World Health Organization, Lifting the Burden. "Atlas of Headache Disorders and Resources in the World 2011." Geneva. World Health Organization. May, 2011.

Shapiro, Robert E., MD. "Headache Disorders in the United States." Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy.

Theeler, Brett J., MD; Flynn, Frederick G., DO; Erickson, Jay C., MD, PhD. "Chronic Daily Headache in U.S. Soldiers After Concussion." Headache 2012;52:732-738.

Live well,


Get the latest Migraine and headache news, informational articles, tips for living well, and more in my free weekly newsletter. To subscribe, CLICK HERE.

Follow me on     or