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Chronic Migraine Is Associated With Reduced Household Income and Greater Headache Impact
Date:10/29/2010

intensity, severity of associated symptoms, and the presence of depression."

The good news according to study co-investigator, Richard B. Lipton, MD, Professor of Neurology at Einstein and Director of the Montefiore Headache Center, is that chronic migraine, its symptoms, and comorbidities including depression and anxiety are very treatable.  Dr. Lipton advises, "Persons living with chronic migraine should speak with a knowledgeable health care professional about available treatments."

Background

The American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention study began in 2004 when questionnaires were mailed to 120,000 U.S. households to identify severe headache sufferers.  A sample of 24,000 severe headache sufferers, identified in 2004, have been followed annually through 2009.  The 2009 survey included the Headache Impact Test (HIT-6), a self administered, six-item questionnaire that measures pain severity, activity limitations, fatigue, irritability and difficulty concentrating due to headache.  Total sum scores range from 36-78 in the following categories: "no/little impact" (<50), "some impact" (50-55), "substantial impact" (56-59), and "severe impact" (60+).

Migraine is a neurological syndrome characterized by severe, painful headaches that are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light and sound.  Headaches may last for hours or even days.  The pain is often on one side of the head and pulsating.  Headaches may be preceded by aura: sensory warning signs such as flashes of light, blind spots, tingling in the arms and legs.  

Migraine can place a significant burden on headache sufferers, their families, and society.   And chronic migraine has been demonstrated to have even greater impact than episodic migraine on a range of factors including socioeconomic status (employment status, household income), headache-related-disability (missed time from work, f
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SOURCE National Headache Foundation
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