E. Anne MacGregor, MB, MD
Funding source: American College of Physicians.
Potential conflicts of interest: Dr. MacGregor, ACP Contributing Author, has disclosed no conflicts of interest.
MacGregor E.; Migraine. Ann Intern Med. 2013;159:ITC5-1. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-159-9-201311050-01005
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2013;159(9):ITC5-1.
More than 90% of patients who have recurrent headache on presentation to primary care offices or emergency departments have migraine. Migraine affects approximately 13% of adults in the United States and is associated with high socioeconomic and personal impact. In the Global Burden of Disease Survey 2010, it was ranked as the third most prevalent disorder and seventh-highest specific cause of disability worldwide.
Studies have shown that the tendency to develop migraines can be inherited. If one parent has migraine headaches, there is a 40% chance that their children will also have migraine; if both parents have migraine, the likelihood that their children will have migraine increases to 75%. Migraine usually begins in late childhood or early adolescence and follows various courses: The headache may go into remission after a few years, recur in cycles of variable activity for many years or decades, or evolve into a chronic and more refractory state (in a minority of patients). Migraine is more common in preadolescent boys than girls but becomes 3 times more common in adult women than men. Prevalence peaks in the fifth decade of life, decreases significantly in the sixth and seventh decades, and is rare in later decades.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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