Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 70–78 | Cite as

Chronic Migraine: Epidemiology and Disease Burden

  • Aubrey N. ManackEmail author
  • Dawn C. Buse
  • Richard B. Lipton


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 migraine Episodic migraine Epidemiology Burden Prevalence Natural history Comorbidities Health-related quality of life Resource utilization Headache impact 



Dr. Aubrey N. Manack is a full-time employee of Allergan, Inc. Dr. Dawn C. Buse has served as a consultant to Allergan, and has received grants or has grants pending with Allergan, Merck Pharmaceuticals, Endo Pharmaceuticals, OrthoMcNeil Pharmaceuticals, and GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Richard B. Lipton is a member of the advisory boards of Allergan, Merck, and MAP Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; has served as a consultant for Allergan; has received grants or has grants pending with Allergan, Merck Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, and Bristol-Myers Squibb; has received payment for manuscript preparation from Allergan; has received payment for the development of educational presentations from Allergan; and has received travel expense compensation from Allergan and Merck.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aubrey N. Manack
    • 1
    Email author
  • 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

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