-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- There are too few migraine
headache specialists in the United States, a new study finds.
Migraines affect about 36 million Americans over age 12 (more
than 11 percent of the population). That's more than the number
affected by asthma and diabetes combined. However, only 416
specialists nationwide are certified by the United Council for
Neurologic Subspecialties to diagnose and treat migraine, according
States with the highest number of migraine specialists include
New York (56), California and Ohio (29 each), Texas (25), Florida
(24) and Pennsylvania (23). Six states have no migraine
specialists, according to the study presented this week at the
International Headache Congress meeting in Boston.
States with the worst specialist-to-patient ratios include
Oregon, Mississippi, Arkansas and Kansas. The District of Columbia
has the best ratio, followed by New Hampshire, New York and
"This is a troubling picture," study leader Dr. Noah Rosen, of the Pain and Headache Center of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, said in a congress news release. "Migraine is a highly disabling disorder -- the seventh most disabling in the world and the fourth most disabling among women. It's clear that many more specialists need to be trained and certified to meet the need."
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data
and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in
a peer-reviewed journal.
Migraine costs the United States more than $29 billion a year in
direct medical expenses such as doctor visits and medications, and
indirect expenses such as missed work and lost productivity, the
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
has more about
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