Migraine Highly Prevalent But Often Undiagnosed

Migraine is a frequently undiagnosed, but very common condition, with an estimated 1-year prevalence ranging from 12% to 14%, using the International Headache Society (HIS) diagnostic criteria. Several gender differences in migraine were apparent.

Along with a higher overall prevalence of migraine in women, Dr. Sheffield also found that migraine prevalence peaks at different ages in women and men. Specifically, migraine prevalence peaks in women between the third and fifth decade, while the condition peaks in men between the second and third decade.

The results of one study indicate that migraine prevalence among women is highest at about 42 years of age, and then begins to decline. Some propose that this peak may be due to declining estrogen levels. Previous research shows that about 34% of migraine patients have never consulted a physician for their headaches given the probable underestimation of migraine prevalence.

Headache 1998;38:595-601

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

I am constantly amazed at how many people will not consider themselves to have an illness unless they are formally diagnosed by a physician, despite the fact that they have all the classic symptoms. Migraines are frequently mismanaged and it is a tragedy as they cause a significant amount of pain and morbidity. Migraines are relatively easy to control for most people as there usually is a food allergy involved. Following eating plan will help most people to reduce, if not eliminate, their migraine pain.

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