Migraine: a major debilitating chronic non-communicable disease in Brazil, evidence from two national surveys
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Background Even though migraine and other primary headache disorders are common and debilitating, major health surveys in Brazil have not included them. We repair this omission by combining data on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the Brazilian National Health Survey (PNS) 2013 with epidemiological data on migraine prevalence and severity in Brazil. The purpose is to rank migraine and its impact on public healthh among NCDs in order to support public-health policy toward better care for migraine in Brazil. Methods Data from PNS, a cross-sectional population-based study, were merged with estimates made by the Brazilian Headache Epidemiology Study (BHES) of migraine prevalence (numbers of people affected and of candidates for migraine preventative therapy) and migraine-attributed disability. Results Migraine ranked second in prevalence among the NCDs, and as the highest cause of disability among adults in Brazil. Probable migraine accounted for substantial additional disability. An estimated total of 5.5 million people in Brazil (or 9.5 million with probable migraine included) were in need of preventative therapy. Conclusion On this evidence, migraine should be included in the next health surveys in Brazil. Public-health policy should recognize the burden of migraine expressed in public ill health, and promote health services offering better diagnosis and treatment.