What do you need to know about migraine?

Léa Surugue looks at the costly and debilitating effects of migraine, and how better classification can protect patients’ health.

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Every year in the UK, 86 million workdays are lost to migraine (Work Foundation, 2018). This debilitating condition, rated as one of the five leading causes of years of life lived with disability in the 2016 Global Burden of Disease Study (Reuter, 2018), is thought to affect as many as 23.3% of adults in the UK (Work Foundation, 2018). Women are impacted by it to a higher degree than men – one in five women compared with one in 15 men (NHS, 2019).

Migraine does not only prevent people from working, affecting their daily lives and their ability to socialise; it also comes at a cost for the health system as a whole. Research has shown that up to £1bn is spent on healthcare costs associated with the disorder (Work Foundation, 2018).

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