Global statistics for migraine

Vast numbers!

  • 1 billion people worldwide
  • 3rd prevalent illness in the world
  • More prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined
  • 6th most disabling illness in the world
  • More than 50% of all migraine sufferers are never diagnosed

Social and financial impact

  • More than 90% of sufferers are unable to work or function normally during their migraine attacks
  • More than 157 million workdays are lost each year in the US due to migraine, amounting to an estimated cost of $36 billion annually (including healthcare and lost productivity costs)


  • 85% of chronic migraine sufferers are women
  • 1 out of 4 women will experience migraine in her life
  • 50% of female sufferers have more than one attack every month, 25% experience 4 or more severe attacks per month.
  • A migraine attack usually lasts between 4 and 72 hours
  • 90% of migraine sufferers have a family history of migraine
  • A child who has one parent suffering from migraine has a 50% chance of inheriting it, and if both parents are migraine sufferers, the chances rise to 75%
  • 25% of migraine sufferers also experience an aura with visual disturbance
  • Medication overuse is the most common reason why episodic migraine turns chronic.

Social handicap, a factor of isolation and depression

  • Migraine places a real burden on people with it, sometimes with significant personal suffering, a deterioration in the quality of life and a financial cost. Recurrent attacks, mostly unpredictable, create a lot of uncertainty and stress in professional, family and social life.
  • Long-term efforts to live with the pain of chronic migraine can also predispose the person to other illnesses. Anxiety and depression, for example, are much more common in people with migraines than in healthy people.

A still underdiagnosed disease

  • Many people suffering from migraine are neither diagnosed nor treated by a specialist, even though migraine is considered by World Health Organization as one of the four most debilitating chronic conditions (along with quadriplegia, psychosis, and dementia).
  • According to figures from World Health Organization, only 40% of people with migraine and tension headaches and only 10% of medication overuse headaches are diagnosed. 50% of people with headache are self-medicated.

A financial cost for society

  • 15% of the population worldwide suffers from migraine. It is the most frequent and costly neurological pathology in Europe.
  • Migraine is a public health issue because of the disability it associates with and its financial cost to society. Mainly affecting the working population (headache is responsible for 20% of work absenteeism), the estimated cost of migraine is of 111 billion euros per year for the whole European Union.