More than half of humanity has a headache at least once a year

A bar behind the eyes, pressure in the temples… You may be one of those 10.5 million French people who regularly experience headaches throughout the year, to varying degrees of severity. And, rest assured: you are not alone. According to a study published by the very serious Journal of Headache And Pain (“Journal of headaches and pains” in French version), more than half of humanity has a headache in the course of a year. Today, we will therefore be 1.2 billion, aged 5 to over 65 according to the terms of the study, to need paracetamol.

Specifically, according to these researchers nNorwegians who arrived at these results by immersing themselves in 60 years of study52% of the world’s population mainly describes tension headaches, saying they feel like a vice that is used around the head, but also regular migraines or even, in the worst case, headaches every other day.

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If, since 1961, headaches seem to be gaining ground – the 357 publications compiled do not however make it possible to confirm this as the figures can show strong variations -, the Norwegian study led by Lars Jacob Stovner, Knut Hagen, Mattias Linde and Timothy J. Steiner of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, based in Trondheim, encourages scientists around the world to harmonize research in order to be able to determine, for example, the influence of genetics, stress, light or more pollution on our migraines.

Also note the key figure of 15.8%: this is the number of the world’s population who suffer from a headache every day. According to specialists, from eight days of crisis per month, migraine is qualified as severe. From 15 days of this disease considered as neurological, it becomes chronic: approximately 1.4 million French people would be affected by this last form.

The consequences in daily life are numerous, according to the association La Voix des Migraineux estimated that 51% of working people are forced to be absent from work, that 90% of patients experience difficulties in taking care of children and housing, and that 15% of them have suicidal thoughts during migraine attacks.

To relieve migraine, treatments exist such as antidepressants, antihypertensives or antiepileptics, which have been shown to be effective but can sometimes cause side effects. In recent years, new therapies have emerged: four anti-CGRP antibodies – developed to block CGRP, a molecule involved in migraine – are now marketed worldwide, including three in Europe and two in France, but are expensive: between 250 and 270 euros per month.

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