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Migraine treatment and prevention in women

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Migraines are more common in the United States than diabetes, osteoarthritis or asthma. Of the 28 million people who experience migraines in this country, 18 million are women. Although prevention is very effective in managing this disorder, only 3 percent to 5 percent of women seek preventive therapy.

To better understand this issue and provide guidance for physicians treating female migraine patients, Mayo Clinic in Arizona Women's Health Internal Medicine physicians reviewed all the major studies on the disorder published in the past five years. They compiled study results into a concise review for clinicians, published in the August 2006 issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

"Most people with migraines first seek help from their primary care provider instead of a neurologist or a specialist. The purpose of our paper is to provide more information for primary care physicians who typically manage these cases," says Beverly Tozer, M.D., who led the review.

The review emphasized preventive therapies for migraines at different stages of a female's life. According to Dr. Tozer, strong evidence suggests that hormonal changes effect migraine development, with migraines being most prevalent during the reproductive years.

"Almost one-fourth of women in their reproductive years experience migraines," Dr. Tozer says. "During these years, women are building both their families and their careers. The predominance of this disorder in women with its associated social, functional and economic consequences makes migraine an important issue in women's health."

Approaching the issue with regard to hormonal causes, the Mayo authors tracked migraine development and treatment for women from childhood to menopause.

Childhood and Adolescence:

Research found that in children ages 4 to 7, girls are less likely than boys to have migraines. However, by puberty, girls are three times more lik
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Contact: John Murphy
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
6-Sep-2006


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