J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry doi:10.1136/jnnp.2009.192492
  • Research paper

Sociodemographic and comorbidity profiles of chronic migraine and episodic migraine sufferers

Press Release
  1. R B Lipton
  1. 1Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA
  2. 2Montefiore Headache Center, Bronx, New York, USA
  3. 3Allergan, Irvine, California, USA
  4. 4Vedanta Research, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  5. 5LL Thurstone Psychometric Laboratory, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Dawn C Buse, Montefiore Headache Center, 1575 Blondell Avenue, Suite 225, Bronx, NY 10461, USA; dbuse{at}
  • Received 24 August 2009
  • Revised 28 September 2009
  • Accepted 30 September 2009
  • Published Online First 17 February 2010


Objective To characterise and compare the sociodemographic profiles and the frequency of common comorbidities for adults with chronic migraine (CM) and episodic migraine (EM) in a large population-based sample.

Methods The American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) study is a longitudinal, population-based, survey. Data from the 2005 survey were analysed to assess differences in sociodemographic profiles and rates of common comorbidities between two groups of respondents: CM (ICHD-2 defined migraine; ≥15 days of headache per month) and EM (ICHD-2 defined migraine; 0–14 days of headache per month). Categories of comorbid conditions included psychiatric, respiratory, cardiovascular, pain and ‘other’ such as obesity and diabetes.

Results Of 24 000 headache sufferers surveyed in 2005, 655 respondents had CM, and 11 249 respondents had EM. Compared with EM, respondents with CM had stastically significant lower levels of household income, were less likely to be employed full time and were more likely to be occupationally disabled. Those with CM were approximately twice as likely to have depression, anxiety and chronic pain. Respiratory disorders including asthma, bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cardiac risk factors including hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity, were also significantly more likely to be reported by those with CM.

Discussion Sociodemographic and comorbidity profiles of the CM population differ from the EM population on multiple dimensions, suggesting that CM and EM differ in important ways other than headache frequency.


  • Funding The AMPP is funded through a grant to the National Headache Foundation from Ortho McNeil-Pharmaceuticals. Additional funding for this manuscript was provided by Allergan Pharmaceuticals. CT and AM are full-time employees of Allergan Pharmaceuticals, Irvine, California.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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