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How common are migraines?

iHeadache Electronic Headache Diary

Migraine headaches are incredibly common among the general population. Prevalence is defined as the number of people who experience the disease during a specified time frame. Using the standard definitions of migraine and conducting direct interviews, it is estimated that about 6% of men and 18% of women suffer from migraine headaches during any given year. Over 33 million Americans have least one migraine headache a year and 25% of them have at least one attack each week. One in four families have at least one person with migraine headaches in the household.

These numbers are actually even higher. Probable Migraines should also count as migraine headaches. Fortunately, many of these cases are milder. It is estimated there are another 10 million Americans diagnosed with Probable Migraines as well.

Only about half of patients with migraine headaches are aware this is the type of headache they have. A substantial number of patients have been misdiagnosed with either recurrent sinus headaches or tension headaches. Sadly, over 70% of patients not diagnosed with migraine headaches report their headaches are severe or extremely severe.