Brain and Behavior. 2018;8:e00950.
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1 | INTRODUCTION
Migraine is a common primary, although clearly not exclusively,
headache disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of headache
often associated with nausea, vomiting, photophobia, and phono-
phobia. The manifestations of migraine clinically can be protean
and may not include headache or only mild headache (although this
is a primary requirement for the diagnosis in many classifications;
Headache Classification Committee of the International Headache
Society (IHS), 2013). It is a major cause of disability and is among
the top 10 causes of years lived with disability in the world (Global
Burden of Disease Study 2013 Collaborators, 2015).
What is the actual prevalence of migraine?
Wei Z. Yeh
| Leigh Blizzard
| Bruce V. Taylor
provided the original work is properly cited.
©2018TheAuthors. Brain and Behavior published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Neurology Department, Royal Hobart
Menzies Institute for Medical
Research, University of Tasmania, Hobart,
Bruce V. Taylor, Menzies Institute for
Objectives: Population prevalence studies of migraine report prevalence rates of be-
tween 2.6 and 21.7%, with an average of ~12%. However, migraine prevalence among
neurologists is reported to be significantly higher, between 27.6% and 48.6%.
Increasing knowledge of the protean manifestations of migraine may explain this dif-
ference. Similarly, under- recognition of migraine in control groups may explain the
lack of genetic and biomarker findings in this disorder. We therefore sought to deter-
mine the prevalence of migraine in an admixed group of individuals with varied
knowledge of migraine symptomatology.
surveyed included three groups: neurologists, neurology trainees, and others includ-
ing nonclinical researchers, members of lay organizations, and representatives of the
Results: In total, 313 of 606 attendees responded (51.7%). 65.9% of neurologist,
57.4% of trainee, and 52.5% of others respondents had a personal history of mi-
graine, with the difference between neurologists and others being statistically sig-
nificant (p = .03). Migraine in migraineurs and nonmigraine headache in nonmigraineurs
werenearlyallself-diagnosed. Among neurologistmigraineurs, 51.2%experienced
migraine with aura and 43% migraine without aura.
Conclusions: Migraine prevalence is significantly higher in neurologists compared to
non- neurologists and at least 2–3 times higher than reported in population preva-
lence studies. This may be due to significant under- recognition of migraine in non-
neurologists. This under- recognition of migraine may significantly influence the
search for genetic predictors and biomarkers of migraine.
epidemiology, genetics, migraine, neurology, pain, prevalence