It is important for healthcare executives to recognize the impact migraines have on people at home and in the workplace, as there is a serious need for additional treatment options, according to a new report.
The 2018 Migraine Impact Report evaluates the physical, social, and economic challenges of migraine. The Lilly-sponsored quantitative opinion survey included responses from 1,018 U.S. adults, including 518 people who have been diagnosed with migraine by a healthcare provider, 200 people who know someone with migraine, and 300 community members who do not know someone with migraine.
Among those surveyed, people diagnosed with migraine experienced on average 15.4 completely pain-free days over the previous 30 days. They also noted that the symptoms of their migraine prevented them from doing what they wanted to do for one week (6.9 days) over the previous 30 days.
“More than 36 million Americans battle migraine, many of whom lack a treatment option that addresses their symptoms and allows them to function in their day-to-day lives or is tolerable for them,” says Sheena Aurora, MD, medical fellow at Eli Lilly and Company.
Notably, the survey found:
- People who do not have migraine often underestimate the pain and average duration of migraine. On a scale of one to 10, those surveyed who did not know someone with migraine underestimated the pain of a typical migraine (an average score of 6.2 compared to an average score of 7.1 given by people diagnosed with migraine).
- Migraine frequently adds stress and may result in less time with family. Nearly three out of four parents surveyed who were diagnosed with migraine (72%) agreed migraine affects their ability to take care of their family.
- Migraine may impact a person's career potential. Among employed respondents diagnosed with migraine, seven out of 10 (68%) agreed they have been less productive at work due to migraine.
- Most respondents diagnosed with migraine (81%) agreed they wish they could do more to manage their disease.
Some additional findings from the survey include:
- Those diagnosed with migraine experienced on average only 15.4 completely pain-free days over the previous 30 days. Respondents also noted their migraine prevented them from doing what they wanted to do for one week (6.9 days) over the previous 30 days.
- The worst migraine pain ranked higher than that of childbirth among those surveyed who had experienced both (n=244, an average score of 8.6 compared to 7.3, on a scale of one to 10).
- Respondents diagnosed with migraine on average rated the worst migraine pain similarly to that of the "most painful thing I have ever experienced" (8.6 compared to 8.7), and higher than both the pain associated with kidney stones and broken bones (8.3 and 7.0, respectively).
- Nearly all respondents diagnosed with migraine (91%) agreed those who do not suffer from migraine do not understand the severity of the disease.
- Respondents diagnosed with migraine missed an average of 7.4 important events in the previous year due to migraine, such as birthdays, graduations or holiday gatherings.
- Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed (62%) say they try to hide the true impact of migraine from those at work or at schooll.
More than half of those diagnosed with migraine (54%) agreed no matter how hard they try, they don't feel they can manage migraine.
As a practicing neurologist, Aurora encourages others across the industry to prioritize and recognize the impact of migraine and the importance of new treatment options for this devastating disease.
“Despite its prevalence, migraine is often underestimated or dismissed as ‘simply a headache,’” Aurora says. “Migraine is a neurologic disease that can seriously affect a person’s life, and there are many people living with migraine who are unable to work and take care of their families. In fact, millions of people with migraine are losing at least one month per year to the disease—something I saw firsthand with many patients.”
Over the last two decades, innovation in the migraine treatment space has been limited—“but with new preventive therapies on the horizon, we believe that these new options may substantially improve care for those living with this disease,” says Aurora.