Headache in Numbers

There is not comprehensive data about scale and scope of headache from all parts of the world. Better data exists about migraine than other headache disorders. Some figures and estimates from various sources are listed below.

For further information about burden headache see www.l-t-b.org

  • Among adults of all ages, migraine is one of the top 20 causes of disability expressed as years of healthy life lost to disability. (The World Health Report 2001);
  • In European Union every day approximately 600,000 people are absent from work or school because of migraine – and about other 600,000 because of other headache disorders;
  • In the United Kingdom, there are estimated 190,000 migraine attacks every day (Steiner et al., 2003, Cephalalgia);
  • 54% of migraine patients experience one or more attacks per month, and 13% claim or more attacks per week (Steiner et al. 2003, Cephalalgia);
  • About a third (34%) of migraine sufferers face difficulties or discrimination at work because of their condition (The Migraine Trust, UK, 2004);
  • A survey of neurologist found that up to one-third of all patients consulted because of headache – mora than any other complaint (WHO, Factsheet 277, March 2004);
  • Depression is three times more common in people with migraine or severe headaches than in healthy individuals (WHO, Factsheet 277, March 2004)