Pink Sheet is part of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC’s registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. For high-quality copies or electronic reprints for distribution to colleagues or customers, please call +44 (0) 20 3377 3183

Printed By



Executive Summary

MIGRAINEUR POPULATION IN U.S. ESTIMATED AT 11.2 MIL. by a national survey presented at the Fifth International Headache Congress in Washington, D.C. on July 2. The survey estimates that 8.6 mil. females and 2.6 mil. males in the U.S. suffer from "moderate to severe disabling . . . migraine headache." An estimated 3.4 mil. females and 1.1 mil. males experience one or more severe, disabling headaches per month. The study, presented by Walter Stewart, MD, Johns Hopkins University, and Richard Lipton, MD, Montefiore Medical Center, randomly surveyed 15,000 households from a panel maintained by National Family Opinion, Inc., a marketing research organization. Stewart said that 9,510 households (63.4%) responded to the mailed questionnaire, providing information on 20,468 individuals. Stewart described the survey as "broad-based," covering the entire country, with respondents ranging in age from 12 to 80 years old. Individuals were asked about migraine and tension- related symptoms, including the intensity, frequency and duration of their headaches, and the frequency and severity of disability from their headaches. Respondents were then evaluated according to "a modified version" of International Headache Society criteria and were designated migraineurs as appropriate. Glaxo, a participant in the migraine survey, previously has estimated that 12% of the population suffer from occasional migraine ("The Pink Sheet" Dec. 10, 1990, p. 11); the company's calculation would indicate there are about 30 mil. migraineurs in the U.S. overall. Stewart and Lipton's 11.2 mil. figure represents about 4.4% of the population. The smaller figures resulting from the Stewart study are very similar to those reported by the National Center for Health Statistics in the Centers for Disease Controls' May 24 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. That report notes the overall prevalence of reported cases of migraine has risen from 2.9% of the population in 1980 to 4.1% in 1989. These data come from personal interviews conducted over 10 years with a "representative sample of the civilian, noninstitutionalized U.S. population," and a sample size ranging between 60,000 and 125,000 people. Like the IHS study, data were based on self-report. The International Headache Society's 1988 headache guidelines describe a migraine without aura (common migraine) as five headache attacks lasting four to 72 hours, accompanied by two of the following characteristics: localized on one side of the head; pulsating; severe enough to inhibit daily activity; aggravated by physical activity. The headache must be accompanied by either nausea and/or vomiting or hypersensitivity to sound or light. The Stewart survey modified these criteria by requiring migraineurs to be at least partially disabled by their headaches and employed more "conservative" criteria in order to estimate more clearly the potential users of prescription migraine drugs. One "very surprising" finding of the survey, Stewart said, was an inverse relationship between migraine prevalence and income. The survey researchers found that the highest incidence of migraine is found in households with an income of less than $ 10,000 per year, and the lowest rate of migraine is found in households with $ 30,000 or more in yearly income. Hypothesizing why lower income correlated with a higher prevalence of migraine, Stewart suggested that "it is, of course, more stressful to live in modern society with less; stress is commonly recognized as a possible precipitating factor for migraine, although it's often poorly defined." He added that dietary precipitants may differ by income status. Stewart noted alternatively that "individuals who suffer from chronic disabling migraine headache may suffer a loss of income -- they may be less likely to advance in their occupation, to hold an occupation, and to pursue education." Lipton also commented on the income-migraine relationship, noting that "the clinical impression that migraine is a disorder of high socioeconomic status is a consequence of the fact that migraine in a doctor's office is a disorder of high socioeconomic status."

You may also be interested in...

Part D Discount Liability Coming Into Focus: CMS Releases Drug Cost Data

Newly released Medicare Part D data sheds light on the sales hit that branded pharmaceutical manufacturers will face when the coverage gap discount program gets under way in 2011

FDA Skin Infections Guidance Spurs Debate On Endpoint Relevance

FDA appears headed for a showdown with clinicians and the pharmaceutical industry over the proposed new clinical trial endpoints for acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections, the guidance's approach for justifying a non-inferiority margin and proposed changes in the types of patients that should be enrolled in trials

Shire Hopes To Sow Future Deals With $50M Venture Fund

Specialty drug maker Shire has quietly begun scouting deals with a brand-new $50 million venture fund, the latest of several in-house investment arms to launch with their parent company's pipelines, not profits, as the measure of their worth




Ask The Analyst

Ask the Analyst is free for subscribers.  Submit your question and one of our analysts will be in touch.

Your question has been successfully sent to the email address below and we will get back as soon as possible. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts