Open Access

The cost of the migraine patient in Italy

  • Maurizio Roncolato,
  • Fabio Arpinelli,
  • Laura Fabbri,
  • Francesco Manetta,
  • Giovanni Visonà,
  • Ovidio Brignoli and
  • Gerardo Medea
The Journal of Headache and PainOfficial Journal of the Italian Society for the Study of Headaches1:00010173.10194


To estimate the cost of the migraine patient in Italy, we undertook an observational, multicenter study. The study was carried out by 902 Italian general practitioners (GPs). GPs asked patients over 14 years of age who came to their surgeries whether they suffered from headaches. If so, the doctor questioned the patient to determine whether he or she was a migraineur according to the IHS criteria. Migraineurs entered a 2-month follow-up programme. GPs interviewed 72 038 patients, of which 4794 were migraineurs. Migraineurs received a diary card to record attacks and the treatment they took. During the two scheduled monthly meetings with the doctor, patients and GPs recorded on diary cards the use of healthcare resources and working days lost due to migraine. Overall, the annual cost of migraine per patient was Lit 1 159 840 (605.03 USD). Our study shows that the overall cost of migraine to the community is very high. Direct costs are higher than in other countries.

Key words MigraineCost of illness