Headache an Immense Public Health Problem, for Rich and Poor Countries

PainRelief.com Interview with:

Lars Jacob Stovner MD PhD Professor of Neurology Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science NTNU, Norwegian University of Science and Technology Head of the Norwegian Advisory Unit on Headaches, St. Olavs Hospital Trondheim, Norway

Prof. Stovner

Lars Jacob Stovner MD PhD
Professor of Neurology
Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science
NTNU, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Head of the Norwegian Advisory Unit on Headaches,
St. Olavs Hospital Trondheim, Norway

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: The study focuses on prevalence and burden of migraine and tension-type headache in the Global Burden of Disease project from 2016.

Previous analyses has shown that migraine is the second most disabling disorder in terms of years lived with disability. This particular analysis shows that more than 1 billion people suffered from migraine in 2016 and 1.9 billion from tension-type headache, and it gives estimates each country and different world regions.

Headache is particularly burdensome in young and middle-aged women, but the impact is also quite marked also in men, children and elderly.

There is considerable variation between countries, but the burden is relatively stable over time (from 1990), and there is no obvious relation to the socioeconomic level of the country. 

PainRelief.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Headache, and in particular migraine, is an immense public health problem in both rich and poor countries. Regrettably, it is not going to diminish with economic development. Therefore, targeted interventions to better treat or prevent headache must be performed, and new therapeutic methods should be developed. Headache should get greater attention in health policy debates and more resources to research. 

PainRelief.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: Good studies on headache prevalence and burden is still lacking in many parts of the world. New studies should be performed with validated methodology. 

No disclosures relevant to this.

Open access funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Citation:

Global, regional, and national burden of migraine and tension-type headache, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

Published:October 01, 2018 The Lancet  VOLUME 17, ISSUE 11, P939-953, NOVEMBER 01, 2018 

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