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Migraine is first cause of disability in under 50s: will health politicians now take notice?

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Published:21st Feb 2018
Author: Steiner TJ, Stovner LJ, Vos T, Jensen R, Katsarava Z.
Availability: Free full text
Ref.:J Headache Pain. 2018;19(1):17.
If it were needed, more evidence of the disconcerting under-treatment of headache disorders has come from the Eurolight study [1]. The topic is not new. Twenty years ago, the International and American Headache Societies jointly voiced their dismay at the inadequacies of health care for headache [2]. In 2006, the European Headache Federation and World Headache Alliance described migraine as a “forgotten epidemic” [3]. Meanwhile, in 2003, the Global Campaign against Headache [4–6] engaged the World Health Organization (WHO) as partner in this cause [7], embarking on a worldwide action programme which began by assessing the magnitude of headache in the world [4, 8]. In 2011, WHO’s global survey of headache disorders and resources, a Global Campaign project, laid bare the scale and scope of under-treated headache everywhere, and its consequences [9]. WHO wrote, in a message sent inter alia to the world’s Ministries of Health: “This first global enquiry into these matters illuminates the worldwide neglect of a major public-health problem, and reveals the inadequacies of responses to it in countries throughout the world” [9]. No words could be clearer but, to make sure, WHO repeated the message soon after [10].

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