Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Curr Opin Neurol. 2006 Jun;19(3):281-5.

Prevalence, burden, and cost of headache disorders.

Author information

Norwegian National Headache Centre, Trondheim University Hospital, Norway.



Documentation of disease impact, both on the individual and on society, is vital to ensure that healthcare resources are distributed according to the relative importance of the different disorders. For headache, international initiatives now promote the cause of headache sufferers by documenting the prevalence, burden, and cost. The present review aims to give an update on studies on these aspects of headache that have appeared since 2004.


Some studies indicate that the headache prevalence may be increasing, but the evidence is conflicting. The disease burden and the costs of migraine are probably among the highest for the neurologic disorders, and it is probably as high in poor countries as in the rich. For other headaches, reliable data on impact are still scarce, but these disorders may be as important as migraine because they are even more prevalent.


Robust and increasing evidence suggests that headache should be taken seriously as a public health problem, not only in the rich countries. More studies on the impact of non-migrainous headaches, largely of the tension type, are urgently needed for a full evaluation of the consequences of headache disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Support Center