Prevalence of Migraine in General Spanish Population; Factors Related and Use of Health Resources

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Oct 23;18(21):11145. doi: 10.3390/ijerph182111145.


Migraine is a common neurological disorder considered the second most disabling condition worldwide. Its prevalence ranges from 2.6% to 21.7% in population studies. This study aimed to know the prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed migraine in the general Spanish adult population, their health care use, and factors related. A descriptive cross-sectional study was undertaken with 23,089 individuals >15 years from the 2017 Spanish National Health Survey. Three groups were defined: people diagnosed with migraine (DM), people reporting undiagnosed migraine (UM) and people without migraine. Sociodemographic, clinical and use of health resources data were collected. The scales Duke Social Support Index (DSSI) and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) were used. Prevalence of DM and UM were determined with 95% confidence intervals. To determine the factors associated with DM and UM, a multinomial logistic regression model was used. The prevalence of DM was 8.6% (95%CI: 8.2-9), and UM, 0.9% (95%CI: 0.8-1). People with DM more frequently visited healthcare professionals (47.8%), required more supplementary tests (86.8), had a higher percentage of hospitalization (11.3%), and used emergency services (45.1%). Women had nearly three times the risk of DM and UM. Worse mental health was a risk factor for UM (OR = 1.20) and DM (OR = 1.18). The greater the work stress, the greater the risk of DM (OR = 1.12). An adequate monitoring and management of migraine in people with these characteristics could contribute to improving their quality of life and reducing costs in the system.

Keywords: headache; health services; healthcare services; mental comorbidity; migraine.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Resources*
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life