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Burden and costs of migraine in a Swedish defined patient population – a questionnaire-based study

Hjalte F, Olofsson S, Persson U, Linde M

Migraine is a disabling, chronic neurological disease leading to severe headache episodes affecting 13.2% of the Swedish population. Migraine leads to an extensive socio-economic burden in terms of healthcare costs, reduced workforce and quality of life (QoL) but studies of the health-economic consequences in a Swedish context are lacking.

The objective of this study is to map the health-economic consequences of migraine in a defined patient population in terms of healthcare consumption, production loss and QoL in Sweden.

The study is based on data from a web-based survey to members in the Swedish patients’ association suffering from migraine. The survey was conducted in May 2018 and included people with migraine aged 18 years or older. The survey included questions on health resource consumption, lost production resulting from migraine-related absenteeism and presenteeism, and QoL as measured by the EuroQol 5 dimensions questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L) and the Headache Impact Test (HIT-6). The results are presented in yearly costs per patient and losses in quality adjusted life years (QALYs).

The results are based on answers from 630 individuals with migraine and are presented by number of migraine days per month. The total cost per patient and year increased with the number of migraine days per month (p<0.001) and varied between approximately €5,000 for those with less than 3 migraine days per month and €24,000 per year for those with 21-28 migraine days per month. Production loss represented the main part of the costs, approximately 80 percent. The average loss in QALYs per year also increased with the monthly number of migraine days (p=0.023).

Migraine leads to significant societal costs and loss of quality of life. There appears to be an unmet need and a potential for both cost savings and QoL benefits connected with a reduction in the number of migraine days.

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The Journal of Headache and Pain, 2019, 20:65
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s10194-019-1015-y