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AAN: Half of Premenopausal Women Have Menstrual Migraines

More than half of women with menstrual migraine report moderate-to-severe disability with their headaches

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 19, 2024 (HealthDay News) – More than half of premenopausal women report menstrual migraine (MM), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held from April 13 to 18 in Denver.

Jessica Cirillo, from Pfizer in New York City, and colleagues estimated the prevalence of MM and identified characteristics of women with MM. The analysis included data from the 2021 U.S. National Health and Wellness Survey.

The researchers estimate that 6.2 million women have MM, with a prevalence of 31.0 percent among all women and 52.5 percent among premenopausal women. Women with MM were a mean age of 33.2 years, 52.6 percent were married/partnered, 66.6 percent were employed, and 38.2 percent had obesity. On average, reported monthly migraine attack frequency was 4.5 days and reported monthly migraine headache days were 8.4 days. More than half of women with MM (56.2 percent) had moderate-to-severe migraine-specific disability. For women with MM, 42.4 percent treated headaches using only over-the-counter medications and 48.6 percent used prescription medications. More women reported only acute migraine treatments (63.9 percent) than migraine prevention (21.1 percent). Triptans (36.7 percent; 3.9 days of use), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (31.1 percent; 8.1days), and opioids (22.2 percent; 7.9 days) were the most common acute treatments reported.

The first step in helping a woman with menstrual migraine is making a diagnosis; the second part is prescribing a treatment; and the third part is finding treatments patients are satisfied with and remain on to reduce disability and improve quality of life,” coauthor, Jessica Ailani M.D., from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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