Open Access

The prevalence of adult migraine in Calabria Region and its relationships with major sociodemographic characteristics and socio-economic impact of headache

  • Rosario Iannacchero,
  • Umberto Cannistr√†,
  • Rita L. Trinchi,
  • Antonio La Vitola,
  • Francesco Peltrone and
  • Emilio De Caro
The Journal of Headache and PainOfficial Journal of the Italian Society for the Study of Headaches4:00017

DOI: 10.1007/s101940300017


Although headache is a common complaint, only few sufferers seek specific medical assistance. Migraine is one of the most frequently encountered varieties of headache. The first presentation of migraine is impaired quality of life and work disorders as a consequence of sickness. Epidemiological quantitative studies in Italy have been performed. The aim of this survey was to estimate the prevalence of migraine in adults living the Region of Calabria who were visited by general practitioners for any reason. We also analyzed the characteristics and associated demographic factors for this disorder, and analyzed costs generated by migraine. We conducted an observational, multicentre, cross-sectional study. Sample size was not predetermined. A total of 1397 patients patients were asked if they suffered headache. If they did not suffer, the doctor completed a questionnaire. Therefore, we have decided to define as possible migraineurs those patients who only met 3 of 4 criteria used to define migraine (pain, 2 or more attacks/month, associated symptoms). The prevalence of migraine was greater in women than in men (66.8% vs. 33.2%). When we considereded the number of patients diagnosed with possible migraine, the prevalence of the disorder was 35.2%. More than half of patients reduced social activities. This is mainly reflected in a loss of productivity and a increasing in indirect costs associated with the disorder. The overall prevalence of migraine in the Region of Calabria was 35.2%, which means that approximately 650 000 people suffer from this disorder. This produces a significant impact on the global social care but at same time a stimulation for the best management and improved quality of life of patients.

Key words Epidemiology Migraine Cost of illness