“Border Zone” Between Episodic and Chronic Migraine Explored in Research by Montefiore Headache Center


Newswise — NEW YORK (June 26, 2013) – People with high frequency episodic migraine share similar sociodemographic characteristics, headache-related disability and a host of problems like chronic pain, psychiatric comorbidities and medical comorbidities with people who have chronic migraine, according to an analysis of the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) Study by researchers at the Montefiore Headache Center in the Bronx, N.Y and Vedanta Research in Chapel Hill, NC.

People with high-frequency episodic migraine (HFEM) experience headache 10 to 14 days per month whereas chronic migraine (CM) is defined by migraine with headache on 15 or more days per month. Migraine with fewer than 10 headache days per month is considered low episodic migraine (LFEM). The research will be presented at the International Headache Congress June 27-30 in Boston.

Researchers found respondents with HFEM and CM reported significantly lower household income levels, were less likely to be employed full time and were more likely to be occupationally disabled compared to those with LFEM. Data also showed as headache frequency increased, so did diagnoses of anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. Rates of chronic pain also increased and were significantly higher in those with HFEM and CM. Additionally, patients with HFEM and CM reported higher rates of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, such as asthma, bronchitis, heart disease and stroke, compared to those with LFEM. Significant differences were not seen between those with CM and HFEM on most variables.

“These data suggest a substantial biological overlap between HFEM and CM,” said Richard B. Lipton, M.D., director, Montefiore Headache Center, and professor and vice chair of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. “It is apparent, based on these findings, that people living in this “border zone” of high-frequency episodic migraine face a similar burden as those with chronic migraine. There is a need for additional treatment options to for people with HFEM who in many ways experience similar challenges to those with chronic migraine.”

Researchers analyzed data from 18,500 respondents to the AMPP Study to develop the three studies, entitled “Exploring the Border Zone Between Episodic Migraine and Chronic Migraine.” Analyses included 10,609 respondents with LFEM, 640 with HFEM and 655 with CM.

More than 36 million Americans live with migraine, approximately 4 million of whom have chronic migraine. Migraine can be extremely disabling and costly, accounting for more than $20 billion in direct (e.g. doctor visits, medications) and indirect (e.g. missed work, lost productivity) costs each year in the U.S.

“These results demonstrate the burden of high-frequency episodic migraine by showing that the condition is as impactful and disabling as CM on many dimensions,” said Dawn C. Buse, Ph.D., associate professor of Clinical Neurology at Einstein, director of behavioral medicine, Montefiore Headache Center and study co-investigator. “We hope that these findings will prompt scientific discussion around the burden of HFEM and highlight the unmet treatment needs of this group.”

About the Study Sponsorship The AMPP Study was funded through a research grant to the National Headache Foundation (NHF) from McNeil-Janssen Scientific Affairs LLC, Raritan, NJ (MJSA). The AMPP database was donated by MJSA to the NHF for use in various projects.

About Montefiore Medical Center As the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore is a premier academic medical center nationally renowned for its clinical excellence, scientific discovery and commitment to its community. Recognized among the top hospitals nationally and regionally by U.S. News & World Report, Montefiore provides compassionate, patient- and family-centered care and educates the healthcare professionals of tomorrow. The Children's Hospital at Montefiore is consistently named in U.S. News' "America's Best Children's Hospitals," and is second among those in the New York metro area. With four hospitals, 1,491 beds and 90,000 annual admissions, Montefiore is an integrated health system seamlessly linked by advanced technology. State-of-the-art primary and specialty care is provided through a network of more than 130 locations across the region, including the largest school health program in the nation and a home health program. Montefiore's partnership with Einstein advances clinical and translational research to accelerate the pace at which new discoveries become the treatments and therapies that benefit patients. The medical center derives its inspiration for excellence from its patients and community, and continues to be on the frontlines of developing innovative approaches to care. For more information please visit www.montefiore.org and www.montekids.org. Follow us on Twitter; like us on Facebook; view us on YouTube.

About Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva UniversityAlbert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University is one of the nation’s premier centers for research, medical education and clinical investigation. During the 2012-2013 academic year, Einstein is home to 742 M.D. students, 245 Ph.D. students, 116 students in the combined M.D./Ph.D. program, and 360 postdoctoral research fellows. The College of Medicine has more than 2,000 full-time faculty members located on the main campus and at its clinical affiliates. In 2012, Einstein received over $160 million in awards from the NIH. This includes the funding of major research centers at Einstein in diabetes, cancer, liver disease, and AIDS. Other areas where the College of Medicine is concentrating its efforts include developmental brain research, neuroscience, cardiac disease, and initiatives to reduce and eliminate ethnic and racial health disparities. Its partnership with Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital and academic medical center for Einstein, advances clinical and translational research to accelerate the pace at which new discoveries become the treatments and therapies that benefit patients. Through its extensive affiliation network involving Montefiore, Jacobi Medical Center –Einstein’s founding hospital, and five other hospital systems in the Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island and Brooklyn, Einstein runs one of the largest residency and fellowship training programs in the medical and dental professions in the United States. For more information, please visit www.einstein.yu.edu, read our blog, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and view us on YouTube. ###

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