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Am J Manag Care. 2004 May;10(5):313-20.

The family impact and costs of migraine.

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  • 1Galt Associates, Inc, Blue Bell, PA 19422, USA. pstang@galt-assoc.com



To obtain information on migraine and its impact on the family, particularly on the healthcare utilization and productivity of family members without migraine.


Retrospective study using linked medical and pharmacy claims data that allowed identification of families and individuals with migraine.


Families with at least 1 migraineur were matched with up to 3 nonmigraineur families on employer, age of migraineur, number of family members, sex, and index date quarter. For a subset of employees, data on short- and long-term disability as well as absenteeism also were evaluated to determine the impact of migraine on these indirect costs.


The total healthcare costs of a family with a migraineur were 70% higher than those of the nonmigraine family, with most of the difference concentrated in outpatient costs. The impact of having a migraineur in the family persisted even after controlling for other disorders and demographics in a multivariate model. Total healthcare costs per family depended on which family member was the migraineur, and were about dollars 600 higher when the sole migraineur was a child versus a parent and almost dollars 2500 higher when both a parent and child were affected (compared with families in which the sole migraineur was a child). Work absence days, short-term disability, and workman's compensation days all were higher among migraine families than among families without a migraineur.


Migraine families incur far higher direct and indirect healthcare costs than nonmigraine families, with variation depending on which family member is the clinically detected migraineur.

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