Global prevalence of chronic migraine: a systematic review

Cephalalgia. 2010 May;30(5):599-609. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2982.2009.01941.x.


The aim of this review was to summarize population-based studies reporting prevalence and/or incidence of chronic migraine (CM) and to explore variation across studies. A systematic literature search was conducted. Relevant data were abstracted and estimates were subdivided based on the criteria used in each study. Sixteen publications representing 12 studies were accepted. None presented data on CM incidence. The prevalence of CM was 0-5.1%, with estimates typically in the range of 1.4-2.2%. Seven studies used Silberstein-Lipton criteria (or equivalent), with prevalence ranging from 0.9% to 5.1%. Three estimates used migraine that occurred ≥15 days per month, with prevalence ranging from 0 to 0.7%. Prevalence varied by World Health Organization region and gender. This review identified population-based studies of CM prevalence, although heterogeneity across studies and lack of data from certain regions leaves an incomplete picture. Future studies on CM would benefit from an International Classification of Headache Disorders consensus diagnosis that is clinically appropriate and operational in epidemiological studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence