Can acute migraines become chronic?

Acute Migraines More Apt to Turn Chronic With Poor Treatment

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What Is a Migraine?
A migraine is a headache with throbbing pain that is usually worse on one side of the head. The pain is often severe enough to hamper daily activities and may last from four hours to three days if untreated. More than one in 10 Americans, including one in 6 women, have migraines, but many have been told mistakenly that they have a sinus or tension headache. Foods, stress, and hormones can be migraine triggers.


FRIDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) — People who receive inadequate treatment for acute migraine headaches are more likely to develop chronic migraines, according to a new study.

Researchers looked at data from more than 4,600 people with episodic migraines (14 or fewer migraine days per month) and found that 48 percent of them received poor or very poor treatment.

These patients were more likely to progress to having chronic migraines (15 or more migraine days a month) than those who received better treatment, according to the study, which was presented this week at the International Headache Congress meeting in Boston.

Within a year, about 8 percent of patients who received very poor treatment progressed to chronic migraine, compared with 4.4 percent of those who received poor treatment, 2.9 percent of those who received moderate treatment and 2.5 percent of those who received the best treatment.

Migraines are debilitating headaches involving intense pulsing or throbbing pain, and often nauseavomiting and hypersensitivity to light and sound.

The study was conducted by a team from the Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City, and Vedanta Research, in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

— Robert Preidt

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