The Impact of Migraine in the Workplace

Studies presented at #AHS18SF reveal how migraine affects a patient’s career and financial stability

Over 37 million Americans are living with migraine and other disorders that cause severe headache. These disorders can be disabling and prevent individuals from maintaining a full- or part-time job. In the U.S. every year, 113 million workdays are lost due to migraine attacks, and days spent out of the office can have a significant impact on an individual’s career stability and financial success.

Recently, at the American Headache Society’s 60th Annual Scientific Meeting in San Francisco, leading migraine experts, headache specialists and researchers presented their findings from a large-scale, web-based study that explored the burden of migraine and its impact on the workplace. With data from over 13,000 respondents, the study also explored the disease’s significant effects on personal finances.

The study, “Perceived Effect of Migraine on Career and Finances: Results of the Chronic Migraine Epidemiology and Outcomes (CaMEO) Study,” found that individuals with chronic migraine, who experience 15 or more headache days per month, were significantly more likely than those with episodic migraine, who have less than 15 headache days per month, to describe negative effects on their careers.

In addition, the landmark CaMEO study found that individuals with chronic migraines are more likely to call in sick due to physical symptoms associated with migraine, including nausea and fatigue. These individuals also communicated that their career advancement had been strained as a result. Those with chronic migraine reported being more worried about long-term financial security and covering living expenses. For some of the study participants, the impact reached to the partners of those with chronic migraine as well.

“Migraine primarily strikes at the most productive times in one’s life and can impact career choice, work productivity, and can have a negative impact on family and loved ones,” said Peter Goadsby, MD, AHS Scientific Program Committee Chair and Professor of Neurology at King’s College London. “Research unveiled the debilitating effect migraine has on one’s basic foundation—his or her employment—and overall financial stability for the entire family.”

The American Headache Society is committed to keeping its members up to date on the most innovative and meaningful advancements in the realm of headache medicine. The Society’s objectives are to promote the exchange of information and ideas concerning the causes and treatments of headache and related painful disorders, and to share and advance the work of its members. Learn more about the American Headache Society’s work and find out how you can become a member today.

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