Conflict of Interest: None
The Course of Frequent Episodic Migraine in a Large Headache Clinic Population: A 12-Year Retrospective Follow-Up Study
Article first published online: 26 AUG 2009
© 2009 the Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 American Headache Society
Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain
Volume 49, Issue 8, pages 1144–1152, September 2009
How to Cite
Dahlöf, C. G. H., Johansson, M., Casserstedt, S. and Motallebzadeh, T. (2009), The Course of Frequent Episodic Migraine in a Large Headache Clinic Population: A 12-Year Retrospective Follow-Up Study. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 49: 1144–1152. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2009.01502.x
- Issue published online: 26 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 26 AUG 2009
- Accepted for publication July 10, 2009.
- predictive factors;
Background.— Despite its high prevalence, little is known about the clinical course of migraine. Presented here are the findings of a 12-year follow-up study involving patients diagnosed at baseline with frequent episodic migraine.
Objective.— The main objectives were to determine the long-term outcome of patients with frequent episodic migraine and to identify factors predictive of a favorable vs less favorable prognosis.
Methods.— A total of 374 subjects (200 women, 174 men) were selected randomly from a total population of 2812 patients initially diagnosed before December 31, 1996, with episodic migraine and at baseline experiencing 1 to 6 attacks per month. Their subsequent migraine course was evaluated via telephone interviews conducted between 2005 and 2006.
Results.— Migraine attacks had ceased in 110 (29%) of the 374 patients (57 women and 53 men). The remaining 264 subjects continued to experience migraine attacks at follow-up, and a change in attack frequency was reported by 80% (of whom 80% reported fewer attacks). Sixty-six percent reported a change in pain intensity over time, and of these 83% reported milder pain. Only 6 subjects (6/374 = 1.6%) had developed chronic migraine.
Conclusion.— These data from a headache clinic population suggest that migraine has a favorable prognosis in most patients. Whether the findings reflect the natural history of the disorder or interval improvements in headache management remains conjectural.