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Survey Reveals Many People with Migraine Live with Pain Nearly Half of Every Month

INDIANAPOLIS –Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) announced today findings from a Lilly-sponsored, quantitative opinion survey, which found among those surveyed, people diagnosed with migraine experienced on average 15.4 completely pain-free days over the previous 30 days. The Migraine Impact Report also highlighted the impact of migraine on a person’s day-to-day-life, with respondents noting the symptoms of their migraine prevented them from doing what they wanted to do for one week (6.9 days) over the previous 30 days.

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here:

The Migraine Impact Report evaluated the physical, social and economic challenges of migraine. Respondents included 1,018 U.S. adults, including 518 people who have been diagnosed with migraine by a healthcare provider, 200 people who know someone with migraine and 300 community members who do not know someone with migraine.

Notably, the worst migraine pain ranked higher than that of childbirth among those surveyed who had experienced both (n=244, an average score of 8.6 compared to 7.3, on a scale of one to 10). Respondents diagnosed with migraine on average rated the worst migraine pain similarly to that of the “most painful thing I have ever experienced” (8.6 compared to 8.7), and higher than both the pain associated with kidney stones and broken bones (8.3 and 7.0, respectively).

“As a practicing neurologist, I saw firsthand both the burden faced by people living with this often disabling, neurological disease, and the feeling that people must ‘power through’ their lives because those around them may not understand just how all-encompassing migraine can be,” said Sheena Aurora, M.D., medical fellow, Eli Lilly and Company.

People who do not have migraine often underestimate the pain and average duration of migraine.

  • Nearly all respondents diagnosed with migraine (91 percent) agreed those who do not suffer from migraine do not understand the severity of the disease.
  • 62 percent of those surveyed who were diagnosed with migraine agreed they try to hide the true impact of migraine from those at work or at school.
  • On a scale of one to 10, those surveyed who did not know someone with migraine underestimated the pain of a typical migraine (an average score of 6.2 compared to an average score of 7.1 given by people diagnosed with migraine).
  • On average, respondents diagnosed with migraine estimated the length of a migraine as 10.3 hours longer than those respondents who do not have migraine (an average score of 31 hours per migraine compared to an average score of 20.7 hours per migraine, respectively).

Migraine frequently adds stress and may result in less time with family.

  • Among those diagnosed with migraine, 82 percent of survey respondents agreed it is stressful to have an unpredictable disease like migraine.
  • Respondents diagnosed with migraine missed an average of 7.4 important events in the previous year due to migraine, such as birthdays, graduations or holiday gatherings.
  • Nearly three-quarters of respondents diagnosed with migraine (70 percent) agreed with the statement, “I’ve avoided making plans because of migraine.”
  • Nearly three out of four parents surveyed who were diagnosed with migraine (72 percent) agreed migraine affects their ability to take care of their family.
  • Among those surveyed with children under 13 years of age, 77 percent of people diagnosed with migraine agreed they were not able to interact as much with their children as they wanted.

Migraine may impact a person’s career potential.

  • Among employed respondents diagnosed with migraine, seven out of 10 (68 percent) agreed they have been less productive at work due to migraine.
  • More than half of respondents diagnosed with migraine (55 percent) agreed the disease has affected their career goals, and one in three respondents diagnosed with migraine (32 percent) agreed they have turned down opportunities at work because of migraine, including a promotion.
  • More than one-third of respondents diagnosed with migraine agreed they have missed out on opportunities at work (39 percent) or additional earnings potential (38 percent) because of migraine.

Most respondents diagnosed with migraine agreed they wish they could do more to manage their disease.

  • 81 percent of respondents diagnosed with migraine agreed they wish they could do more to manage their disease, while more than half of those diagnosed with migraine (54 percent) agreed no matter how hard they try, they don’t feel they can manage migraine.
  • Notably, nearly all those surveyed who have a family member with migraine (90 percent) agreed they feel “helpless” when their loved one has a migraine.
  • Among those who have a close relationship with someone with migraine, three out of four respondents (74 percent) agreed they would like this person to seek better care or treatment for their migraine.

“Results from the Migraine Impact Report support what physicians who care for patients with migraine have known for many years. The results also demonstrate the severity of this disease and the pervasive impact migraine has on an individual’s personal, family and professional life,” said Dr. Timothy R. Smith, MD, RPh, FACP, Vice President, National Headache Foundation. “These findings shine a spotlight on the serious need for additional treatment options for the more than 36 million Americans battling with migraine, many of whom lack a treatment option that addresses their symptoms and allows them to function in their day-to-day lives or which is tolerable for them.”

For more information about migraine and resources available for patients, such as finding a doctor in your area, visit the National Headache Foundation website at

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