• Diagnosis;
  • epidemiology;
  • migraine;
  • prevalence;
  • risk factors

In November 1990 a nationwide survey of migraine was conducted in France on a representative sample of residents aged 15 years and older. The diagnosis of migraine was based on the International Headache Society (IHS) classification. In a previous study, we validated a diagnostic algorithm which classifies headache sufferers as IHS migraine, “borderline” migraine, possible migraine and non-migrainous headache. The overall prevalence of migraine patients with the IHS criteria in the present study was 8.1%; another 4% were classified as “borderline” migraine, which we in fact considered as definite migraine. Age, gender and occupation were found to be risk factors for migraine. Neither frequency and duration of attacks nor length of time of disease differed with gender. Expressed intensity of attacks, however, was greater in females.