In a recently published study in The Journal of Headache and Pain, Italian researchers compiled data on 548 patients suffering from chronic and episodic migraines enrolled in a tertiary level headache center to determine overall costs incurred.

The authors concluded that costs were significantly higher for women with migraines than men ($1693.86 [€1517] versus $1422.53 [€1274]; P = .013) and that costs resulting from migraine treatment increased as the patients got older (P = .0002).

In addition, the annual direct cost incurred by patients with chronic migraines (CM) was 4.8-fold higher than those with episodic migraines (EM) ($2278.56 [€2037] vs $477.64 [€427]; P = .0001).

Data from patients’ electronic medical records were collected and only patients with CM and EM  who underwent continuous treatment in the 2 years prior to January 2019 while at the Regional Referral Headache Center of Rome, Italy, were included in the study.

This methodology was used to “prevent distortions due to natural fluctuations in migraine status over time.”

Researchers also stated that by following this method, “it was possible to detect any changes in dosage and class of drugs and, therefore, provide better estimates of the cost of pharmacological treatments.”

This article originally appeared in sister publication AJMC. 


Negro A, Sciattella P, Rossi D, Guglielmetti M, Martelletti P, Mennini FS. Cost of chronic and episodic migraine patients in continuous treatment for two years in a tertiary level headache centre. J Headache Pain. 2019;20(1):120. doi: 10.1186/s10194-019-1068-y.