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Headache and migraine - Statistics & Facts

Headaches and migraines are among the most common disorders of the human nervous system worldwide. In the United States, over 15 percent of all adults complain about severe headaches or migraines, with prevalence among women more than twice as high as among men. Interestingly, the prevalence of headaches among U.S. adults is distinctly higher among younger people than among those aged 65 years and older. A Statista survey from 2017 found that 18 percent of respondents suffered multiple times a month from headaches.

Among U.S. patients suffering from migraine symptoms, around 27 percent stated their migraines typically last from one to three days. Common symptoms of migraine include head pain, throbbing pain, sensitivity to light, and fatigue. Headaches, especially migraines, are often triggered by external factors such as weather conditions, stress, or smells, with the most commonly reported comorbidities to migraines including depression, hypertension, and diabetes.

There are a number of ways that people try to alleviate headaches, with different techniques working for different people. A recent Statista survey found sleep to be the most commonly used technique to relieve headache, followed by darkening the room and stress reduction. The same survey found that almost half of U.S. adults used analgesic tablets to relieve headache, with such tablets most popular among Caucasians.

Headache and migraine treatment costs should not be underestimated. Most of these costs are due to spending on medications. General pain relief drugs are used for treatment as well as special headache medication. Excedrin migraine, an analgesic made specifically for headache and migraine relief is one of the leading analgesic brands in the U.S., although general analgesics, such as Advil and Aleve, are also commonly used to treat headaches. Among U.S. adults, stress was thought to be the leading cause of headaches.


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