Migraine Stigma May Prevent Proper Diagnosis and Treatment in Men

New study finds that the perception of migraine as a women’s disease may impact the diagnosis and treatment of migraine in men

SAN DIEGO, CA (June 9, 2016) – While migraine is the most common neurological disorder in both men and women, the view that migraine is a women’s disease can cause men to be under diagnosed and under treated, according to a new study presented this week at the 58th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society.

The Chronic Migraine Epidemiology and Outcomes (CaMEO) Study longitudinally explored migraine epidemiology and associated comorbidities. To extend previous data on gender differences in migraine, this study focused on the determinants and burden of migraine in men and considered whether disease presentation, including sociodemographics, headache symptomology, disability, diagnosis, and treatment, differs in men and women.

Among respondents with migraine, men reported fewer headache days per month but were also less likely than women to report seeing a doctor to manage their headaches (28.6% vs. 31.1%). Men in the study who were consulting doctors were less likely to receive a migraine diagnosis than women (59.2 vs 77.7%) and less likely to report use of prescription medication for headache (24.1% vs 28.2%).

“While migraine is more common and severe in women than in men, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a women’s disease,” said Richard B. Lipton, M.D., director of Montefiore Headache Center and vice chair of neurology, and the Edwin S. Lowe Chair in Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “Migraine is disabling in men. Men suffering from migraine should actively seek medical care and an accurate diagnosis. Healthcare providers are encouraged to recognize, diagnose and treat migraine in men when they see it.”

 The study, titled “Epidemiology of Migraine in Men: Results from the Chronic Migraine Epidemiology and Outcomes (CaMEO) Study”, was presented at the 58th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society in San Diego. The meeting draws about 1,000 headache and migraine researchers and treatment specialists from around the world to hear the latest scientific and clinical information on headache and migraine. This year’s program, “Take a Closer Look…At Migraine,” is four days of scientific presentations on the latest and most up-to- date research in all aspects of migraine and related disorders.

The American Headache Society (AHS) is a professional society of health care providers dedicated to the study and treatment of headache and face pain. The Society’s objectives are to promote the exchange of information and ideas concerning the causes and treatments of headache and related painful disorders. Educating physicians, health professionals and the public and encouraging scientific research are the primary functions of this organization. AHS activities include an annual scientific meeting, a comprehensive headache symposium, regional symposia for neurologists and family practice physicians, and publication of the journal Headache. (www.americanheadachesociety.org)

The American Migraine Foundation is a non-profit foundation supported by the American Headache Society and generous donors dedicated to the advancement of migraine research. Its mission is to support innovative research and education that will lead to improvement in the lives of those who suffer from migraine and other disabling headaches. Information about migraine and related disorders can be found at www.americanmigrainefoundation.org


Latest News