Objective

To assess the effects of migraine on important life domains and compare differences between respondents with episodic and chronic migraine and between sexes.

Background

Migraine is associated with a substantial personal and societal burden and can also affect the interpersonal dynamics, psychological health and well‐being, and financial stability of the entire family of the person with migraine.

Methods

The Chronic Migraine Epidemiology and Outcomes (CaMEO) Study is a prospective, longitudinal, Web‐based survey study undertaken between September 2012 and November 2013 in a systematic U.S. sample of people meeting modified International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition migraine criteria: 19,891 respondents were invited to complete the Family Burden Module, which assessed the perceived impact of migraine on family relationships and life, career and finances, and overall health. Respondents were stratified by episodic migraine (<15 headache days/month) and chronic migraine (≥15 headache days/month) and sex for comparisons.

Results

A total of 13,064 respondents (episodic migraine: 11,944 [91.4%]; chronic migraine: 1120 [8.6%]) provided valid data. Approximately 16.8% of respondents not currently in a romantic relationship (n = 536 of 3189) and 17.8% of those in a relationship but not living together (n = 236 of 1323) indicated that headaches had contributed to relationship problems. Of those in a relationship and living together (n = 8154), 3.2% reported that they chose not to have children, delayed having children or had fewer children because of migraine (n = 260; episodic migraine: n = 193 of 7446 [2.6%]; chronic migraine: n = 67 of 708 [9.5%]; P < .001). Of individuals responding to career/finance items (n = 13,061/13,036), 32.7% indicated that headaches negatively affected ≥1 career area (n = 4271; episodic migraine: n = 3617 of 11,942 [30.3%]; chronic migraine: n = 654 of 1119 [58.4%]), and 32.1% endorsed worry about long‐term financial security due to migraine (n = 4180; episodic migraine: n = 3539 of 11,920 [29.7%]; chronic migraine: n = 641 of 1116 [57.4%]).

Conclusions

Migraine can negatively affect many important aspects of life including marital, parenting, romantic and family relationships, career/financial achievement and stability, and overall health. Reported burden was consistently greater among those with chronic migraine than among people with episodic migraine; however, few differences were seen between the sexes.

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