Highlights of the 5th Annual Association of Family Practice Physician Assistants (AFPPA) Conference: Headache Management -- Evaluation and Treatment

San Antonio, Texas; November 19-23, 2003

Jim Meeks, PA-C


February 12, 2004

In This Article

Headache Prevalence

Within a given year, 90% of men and 95% of women have at least 1 headache. The majority of this population choose to treat their headaches with over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers.[3] The American public spends $2 billion annually on OTC medications for the treatment of headache.[4] Schuman[1] reported that more than 45 million Americans suffer from chronic recurring headaches, and 28 million suffer from migraine headaches. Migraine headaches affect 13% of the population, or 1 in every 4 American households. Seventy percent of all migraineurs are women. Additionally, more than 20% of all young people in the United States experience chronic headaches.[5]

A 1999 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report showed that 15% of the American adult population had experienced migraine or severe headache within a period of 3 months prior to being interviewed for the published report. Women experienced twice as many migraines or severe headaches as men. The largest affected population (18%) was in the 18-to-44 year-old of age group.[6]


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