Migraine Facts

Migraine is more than a headache, it is a complex neurological disease.

  • Migraine is a genetic, multisystem neurological disease.
  • Many people with migraine have an overly sensitive nervous system, causing a variety of symptoms. Though it is known for headaches as a primary symptom, migraine disease also impacts mood, gastrointestinal function, balance, sleep, facial pain and more.

Migraine can be chronic.

  • More than 4 million people have chronic daily migraine, with at least 15 migraine days per month.

Migraine disproportionately impacts women.

  • Almost one-third of women will experience migraine during their lifetime.
  • 75% of all people with migraine are women.

Migraine erodes quality of life.

  • Migraine is the sixth highest cause of years lost due to disease, according to the World Health Organization.

Migraine has an enormous economic cost.

  • People with migraine visit the ER twice as often, use 2.5 times the prescriptions and have 6 times the diagnostic tests and services compared to non-migraine patients.
  • Migraine costs American employers about $19 billion a year because of missed workdays and impaired work function.

Migraine is inadequately diagnosed and treated.

  • There is an estimated 7-year delay in diagnosis.
  • 50% of people with migraine are not diagnosed and 50% of people with migraine are unhappy with their treatment.
  • Medical training includes an average of 4 hours on all headache disorders.

Migraine research is underfunded.

  • NIH funding for migraine research is less than 2% of federal funding for neurodegenerative diseases, and less than 1% of funding for chronic disease.

Patient Perspectives

“I lost my career. I lost my friends. I lost somebody who I thought was going to spend the rest of my life with.

It takes its toll and I don’t think that people really understand that.”


“I’ve suffered greatly over the past four years –a living hell with more weird, unexplained and scary symptoms than most could imagine.”


“It affects all aspects of my body, not just the physical. I feel like my migraine takes over my thoughts and emotions too.

I can’t think of anything but the pain…”


“I wish people would stop thinking that I’m on a “holiday” from work. What I would do to have my normal life back.”