Impact of headache frequency and preventive treatment failure on quality of life, disability, and direct and indirect costs among individuals with episodic migraine in the United States

Headache. 2024 Mar 24. doi: 10.1111/head.14684. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate unmet needs among individuals with episodic migraine (EM) in the United States (US).

Background: Data are limited on the impact of headache frequency (HF) and preventive treatment failure (TF) on the burden of migraine in the US.

Methods: A retrospective, cross-sectional analysis of 2019 National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS) data was conducted from an opt-in online survey that identified respondents (aged ≥18 years) in the US with self-reported physician-diagnosed migraine. Participants were stratified by HF (low: 0-3 days/month; moderate-to-high: 4-14 days/month) and prior preventive TF (preventive naive; 0-1 TF; ≥2 TFs). Comparisons were conducted between preventive TF groups using multivariable regression models controlling for patient demographic and health characteristics.

Results: Among individuals with moderate-to-high frequency EM, the NHWS identified 397 with ≥2 TFs, 334 with 0-1 TF, and 356 as preventive naive. The 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (version 2) Physical Component Summary scores were significantly lower among those with ≥2 TFs, at a mean (standard error [SE]) of 41.4 [0.8] versus the preventive-naive 46.8 [0.9] and 0-1 TF 44.5 [0.9] groups; p < 0.001 for both). Migraine Disability Assessment Scale scores were significantly higher in the ≥2 TFs, at a mean (SE) of 37.7 (3.9) versus preventive-naive 26.8 (2.9) (p < 0.001) and 0-1 TF 30.1 (3.3) (p = 0.011) groups. The percentages of time that respondents experienced absenteeism (mean [SE] 21.6% [5.5%] vs. 13.4% [3.6%]; p = 0.022), presenteeism (mean [SE] 55.0% [8.3%] vs. 40.8% [6.5%]; p = 0.015), overall work impairment (mean [SE] 59.4% [5.6%] vs. 45.0% [4.4%]; p < 0.001), and activity impairment (mean [SE] 56.8% [1.0%] vs. 44.4% [0.9%]; p < 0.001) were significantly higher in the ≥2 TFs versus preventive-naive group. Emergency department visits (preventive-naive, p = 0.006; 0-1 TF, p = 0.008) and hospitalizations (p < 0.001 both) in the past 6 months were significantly higher in the ≥2 TFs group. Direct and indirect costs were significantly higher in the ≥2 TFs (mean [SE] $24,026 [3460]; $22,074 [20]) versus 0-1 TF ($10,897 [1636]; $17,965 [17]) and preventive-naive ($11,497 [1715]; $17,167 [17]) groups (p < 0.001 for all). Results were similar in the low-frequency EM group.

Conclusions: In this NHWS analysis, individuals with more prior preventive TFs experienced significantly higher humanistic and economic burden regardless of HF.

Keywords: United States; costs; health care resource use; migraine; quality of life; treatment failure.