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Question: Social and economic burden of headache

Answer: Headache disorders are a public-health concern given the associated disability and financial costs to society. As headache disorders are most troublesome in the productive years (late teens to 50s), estimates of their financial cost to society – principally from lost working hours and reduced productivity – are massive. In the United Kingdom, for example, some 25 million working- or school-days are lost every year because of migraine alone; this financial cost may be matched by TTH and MOH combined. Headache is high among causes of consulting medical practitioners: one-third of all neurological consultations were for headache, in one survey.

Yet, many of those troubled by headache do not receive effective care. For example, in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, only half of those identified with migraine had seen a doctor for headache-related reasons in the previous 12 months, and only two-thirds had been correctly diagnosed. Most were solely reliant on over-the-counter medications.

(Source: World Health Organization, 02 Dec 2020)

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