SOURCE: Health Union

Health Union

September 07, 2017 14:05 ET

New Survey Finds Migraine Takes a Major Toll on Work, School, and Social Life

Frustrated Patients Seek More Effective Treatments

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - September 07, 2017) - A new Health Union survey of people currently diagnosed with migraine finds nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents report their education and/or career had been affected by the condition.

More than 4,500 participants responded to the online survey, "Migraine In America 2017," which was conducted from April-May 2017.

Approximately 37 million Americans suffer from migraine, with the World Health Organization estimating that 18 percent of women and 7 percent of men in the U.S. suffer from the condition.

Migraine negatively affects all aspects of life, respondents reported, including the ability to work, attend school, and participate in social activities. One-fourth (26 percent) of those surveyed said they required employment accommodations, reduced work hours (23 percent), or used medical leave (22 percent) due to migraine. Eighteen percent said they had voluntarily stopped working due to migraine, with 15 percent indicating they had lost a job because of the condition.

Additionally, survey participants indicated they had cut back on participating in hobbies or other activities due to migraine and felt their family, friends, or colleagues did not understand their condition.

"Health Union's 'Migraine In America' surveys are the perfect complement to the stories and experience we provide as advocates," said Migraine.com patient advocate Lisa Benson. "I reference them when appropriate, not just in writing and video blogs, but also in conversations 'on the street' when I am in a scenario where I need to advocate or educate about migraine."

Migraine attack symptoms typically experienced by a majority of respondents included head pain (91 percent), sensitivity to light (87 percent), sensitivity to sound (80 percent), and difficulty concentrating (73 percent). Nine out of 10 respondents (92 percent) said they experienced some form of "cognitive anxiety" associated with migraine, meaning their ability to think can become impaired, leading to confusion, memory loss, or an inability to focus due to pain and other symptoms.

Regarding medical treatment, more than two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents said abortive/acute prescription migraine medications were the most commonly used, followed by over-the-counter pain medications (50 percent), preventive medications (49 percent), and rescue medications (47 percent). Survey participants also noted that side effects played a key role in their avoidance or stopping use of a medication.

"Our findings underscore the demand for more effective treatments," said Health Union Senior Vice President, Insights, Anna McClafferty. "Many respondents reported using everything from prescription medications to natural treatments to manage migraine, often with less than satisfactory results. There is an ongoing interest in trying new approaches to treat and prevent migraine, including participating in clinical trials."

A summary infographic of the survey results and additional survey details are available upon request.

About Health Union, LLC and Migraine.com

Health Union inspires people to live better with challenging health conditions -- combining new, original content every day with digital, social and mobile technologies to cultivate active online health communities. Health Union platforms are unique ecosystems dedicated to illuminating the voices and experiences of people with type migraine, rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and more. Its services and offerings foster open and honest interactions about these health conditions between and among patients, caregivers, professionals, providers and industry partners to help all stakeholders make more informed decisions about healthcare. Migraine.com is Health Union's online community dedicated to people living with migraine, where patients and supporters of people living with this condition can connect, share experiences, and learn about managing the condition.

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Contact Information

  • For media interviews, contact:
    Wayne Travers Jr.
    KNB Communications for Health Union
    203-504-8230 ext. 135
    wtravers@knbcomm.com