Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 70–78

Chronic Migraine: Epidemiology and Disease Burden

  • Aubrey N. Manack
  • Dawn C. Buse
  • Richard B. Lipton

DOI: 10.1007/s11916-010-0157-z

Cite this article as:
Manack, A.N., Buse, D.C. & Lipton, R.B. Curr Pain Headache Rep (2011) 15: 70. doi:10.1007/s11916-010-0157-z


Chronic migraine is a common and disabling complication of migraine with a population prevalence of about 2%. Emerging evidence suggests that episodic migraine and chronic migraine differ not only in degree, but also in kind. Compared with patients with episodic migraine, those with chronic migraine have worse socioeconomic status, reduced health-related quality of life, increased headache-related burden (including impairment in occupational, social, and family functioning), and greater psychiatric and medical comorbidities. Each year, approximately 2.5% of patients with episodic migraine develop new-onset chronic migraine (ie, chronification). Understanding the natural disease course, improving treatment and management, and preventing the onset could reduce the enormous individual and societal burden of chronic migraine, and thus, have become important goals of headache research. This review provides a summary of the history of nomenclature and diagnostic criteria, as well as recent studies focusing on the epidemiology, natural history, and burden of chronic migraine.


Chronic migraineEpisodic migraineEpidemiologyBurdenPrevalenceNatural historyComorbiditiesHealth-related quality of lifeResource utilizationHeadache impact

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aubrey N. Manack
    • 1
  • Dawn C. Buse
    • 2
  • Richard B. Lipton
    • 3
  1. 1.Allergan, Inc.IrvineUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyAlbert Einstein College of Medicine and the Montefiore Medical CenterBronxUSA
  3. 3.Department of Neurology and Department of Epidemiology and Population HealthAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA