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How Does Migraine Affect My Employees?

Approximately 28 million Americans suffer from migraine -women three times more often than men¹-resulting in a decrease in productivity and an annual loss of 157 million workdays from the pain and associated symptoms.2

In one three-month study³, researchers asked 122 migraine sufferers with regular paid employment to keep a daily record of days missed due to migraine, as well as their own estimation of reduced productivity on the days they actually attended work with a migraine (lost work day equivalents). Among the findings in the study population:

  • The average number of days absent due to headache was 1.1 days/person – a loss of about four workdays/year.³
  • On average, self-reported job effectiveness fell 41 percent because of migraine.³
  • The most disabled 20 percent of sufferers accounted for 77 percent of the days absent.³
  • The most disabled 40 percent experienced 75 percent of lost workday equivalents.³

Not only are women more likely to have migraine than men, but they are likely to experience greater pain and disability.4 According to a recent survey of working women conducted by the National Headache Foundation (NHF) and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP, 90 percent of the women surveyed who get migraines have attacks at work.5 Of these,

  • 41 percent cited workplace stress as their most common headache trigger.5
  • 61 percent said their headaches become so severe they are forced to take time off from work.5
  • Nearly 80 percent reported lost productivity.5


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