Migraine is a neurological disease characterized by recurrent moderate to severe headaches often in association with a number of autonomic nervous system symptoms. Associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell. The pain is generally made worse by physical activity. Migraines are believed to be due to a mixture of environmental and genetic factors.
It is, however, believed to be a neurovascular disorder. Of 1810 participants, 42% self-reported having a physician diagnosis of migraine. During the prior 6 months, 46% of participants missed at least 1 day of work or school and 74% were prevented from functioning fully at work or school because of migraine. Mean work/school absenteeism due to migraine was 1.9 days over 6 months (range, 0.8 days in Sweden to 2.8 days in Norway).
Over half of participants reported one or more occurrences of being unable to spend time with family or friends (62%) or being unable to enjoy recreational or leisure activities (67%) because of migraine. The percentage of study participants using triptans was lowest in southern Europe and highest in the Nordic countries, ranging from 1% in Greece to 50% in Sweden