WHEN MIGRAINES GET OUT OF CONTROL

October 10th, 2011

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 3 million Americans went to emergency rooms trying to get relief for headaches or migraines. 81,000 of these people were admitted into the hospital.  1/3 of the emergency room patients and 2/3’s of the hospitalizations were due to migraines.

Women made up 75% of both the emergency room visits and hospitalizations. (To me this indicates a hormonal component to the headaches, and I suspect that the 1/3 of the emergency room visits believed to be migraines, is a very low percentage and that in reality, the percentage was probably much higher.)  Migraines were about 4 times more common in women than men.

Going by age, the most likely to make an emergency room visit were in the 18-44 year old range.

Geographically, – The Midwest and South had the highest emergency department visit rates for headache, 1,158 and 1,131 per 100,000 people. The Northeast showed 809 visits per 100,000 people and the West had 744 visits per 100,000 people. (People in the West either have fewer migraines or they just couldn’t get to the emergency room because of the traffic!)

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Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.