How common are migraine headaches?

Approximately 28 million people suffer from migraines in the United States alone.1 Worldwide, migraines occur in up to 25% of women and up to 10% of men.2

Females are about 3 times more likely to develop migraines than males. Migraines are most common in adults (between ages 20 through 50) but become less severe and less frequent with age.1 Migraines often begin in early to mid-adolescence.3 Even very young children can get migraines, both with and without an aura (neurological disturbance). Your risk of having migraines is greater if you have a family history of migraines.


  1. Lipton RB, et al. (2002). Migraine in the United States: Epidemiology and patterns of health care use. Neurology, 58(6): 885–894.
  2. Morillo LE (2004). Migraine headache in adults, search date August 2003. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence. Also available online:
  3. Wood AJJ (2002). Migraine: Current understanding and treatment. New England Journal of Medicine, 346(4): 257–270.

Last Updated: June 30, 2009

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.