June is National Migraine Awareness Month, and this year’s theme is help make Migraines visible!There are a number of reasons to help make Migraines visible. Two of the most significant of those reasons are:
- Ridding ourselves of the myths and misconceptions about Migraines and the resulting stigma. Studies have shown that the stigma associated with Migraines increases the burden of living with the disease
- Making Migraines more visible could result in more research funding which, in turn, would result in more and better treatments.Educating ourselves and others and building awareness about Migraines are the best methods we have of making Migraines visible, and this is an area where each individual can make a difference. This isn’t something we need or should sit back and leave to others or to the professionals. There are more than 37 million people in the United States who have Migraines. Can you imagine what we could accomplish if just 10% of us got serious about educating others and building awareness about Migraine? That would be 3.7 million of us, and just think what we could do!
- Thirty-six million Americans, about 12% of the population, suffer from migraine headaches.
- One in four households in America has a member with migraine.
- Migraine is three times more common in women than men. Migraine affects 30% of women over a lifetime.
- Migraine costs the United States more than $20 billion each year. Costs are attributed to direct medical expenses (e.g. doctor visits, medications) and indirect expenses (e.g. missed work, lost productivity).
- Migraine is disabling. The World Health Organization places migraine as one of the 20 most disabling medical illnesses on the planet.As a nation, we allocate a pittance to migraine research – less than 1% of the budget of the National Institutes of Health – or about $19 million in 2013. Given the prevalence and magnitude of migraine, $260 million would be right.
Since you are now aware of the impact migraines have on a large percentage of our population, we have done our part for National Migraine Awareness Month!