Number of Headache-Free Days in Migraine Associated With Health-Related Outcomes – Clinical Pain Advisor

By | August 17, 2019

Patients with migraine who have more headache-free days experience less work productivity loss and activity impairment and lower healthcare resource utilization, according to study results published in Pain and Therapy.

In this retrospective study, the survey responses of 62,000 adults from 5 European nations were examined; in particular, the data from 1569 individuals with migraine (mean age, 43.27 years) who had ≥4 monthly headache days in the previous month.

Significant positive correlations were established between the number of headache-free days and age, employment status, marital status, household income, education status, body mass index, alcohol use, exercise, and Charlson Comorbidity Index scores (P <.05 for all).

Each additional headache-free day was associated with improvements in the following: Mental Component Summary scores (average increase, 0.171 point), Physical Component Summary scores (increase, 0.306 point), Short-Form-6D utility score (increase, 0.003 point), and EuroQoL-5D index score (increase, 0.008 point; P <.001 for all). By extrapolation, it was estimated that for every 5 additional headache-free days, the average point increases for these measures would be 0.855, 1.530, 0.015, and 0.040 points, respectively.

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In addition, an increase of 1 headache-free day was associated with an expected average reduction in absenteeism (by 3.9%), presenteeism (by 2.1%), and 1.0% and 4.7% fewer expected visits to healthcare providers and neurologists, respectively.

Study limitations include potential estimate bias, and the self-reported nature of the data.

“[A]n increase in the number of [headache-free days] is associated with improved [health-related quality of life], decreased work productivity loss and activity impairment, and [healthcare resource utilization] among patients with migraine in the [European Union 5],” noted the study authors. “[U]sing appropriate medications may lessen the burden of migraine and provide incremental benefits to individuals and society.”

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Doane MJ, Gupta S, et al. Associations between headache-free days and patient-reported outcomes among migraine patients: A cross-sectional analysis of survey data in Europe [published online July 26, 2019]. Pain Ther. doi:10.1007/s40122-019-0133-1

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