Burden of migraine: Societal costs and therapeutic opportunities

Richard B. Lipton, Walter F. Stewart, Michael Von Korff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


Migraine imposes an enormous health burden on individual headache sufferers and on society. The condition affects about 18% of women and about 6% of men across their lifespan. Because prevalence peaks during the most productive years, between the ages of 25 and 55, migraine is an important cause of lost work time. Despite the widespread underdiagnosis and undertreatment of migraine, health care costs for the condition are considerable. Add to this the indirect costs, in the form of absenteeism and reduced productivity at work, and the overall burden of migraine becomes apparent. Work loss is not uniformly distributed, with the most disabled half of migraineurs accounting for more than 80% of all work loss. Although improvements in health care delivery for migraine may increase direct cost (i.e., drug or medical care), this may be offset by savings in indirect costs (i.e., reduced and lost productivity).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S4-S9
Issue number3 SUPPL. 3
StatePublished - Mar 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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