Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


People With No Health Insurance Get Substandard Migraine Care

People with no health insurance are less likely than the privately insured to receive proper treatment for their migraines, according to a study published in the April 13, 2010, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Migraines, often characterized by excruciating headache and nausea, can cause significant distress. They can cause people affected by them to lose an average of four to six days of work each year. Study authors say migraine sufferers who lack private health insurance are twice as likely to get inadequate treatment for their condition as their insured counterparts. Migraine patients insured through Medicaid are one and a half times as likely to receive substandard treatment.

“The tragedy is that we know how to treat this disabling condition. But because they are uninsured or inadequately insured, millions of Americans suffer needlessly,” said study author Rachel Nardin, MD, of Harvard Medical School and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “Optimizing migraine care requires improvement in our health care systems as well as educating physicians to prescribe the best available drug and behavioral treatments.”

Neurologists usually recommend one of two types of drugs when a moderate-to-severe migraine strikes: “triptans” (such as sumatriptan) or dihydroergotamine. For the majority of people with migraine whose headaches are frequent or severe, neurologists also recommend a daily dose of one of several preventive medications. The researchers used these recommendations from the American Academy of Neurology to define standard migraine treatment.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data from two federal surveys, the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, which provide a nationally representative sample of all US visits to doctors’ offices, hospital clinics and emergency rooms. They analyzed the 6,814 visits for migraine between 1997 and 2007.

The study found that people with no insurance were twice as likely to receive substandard migraine care as people with private health insurance. Medicaid enrollees were 50 percent more likely to receive substandard treatment, suggesting that “access to some forms of insurance is not the same as access to adequate care,” according to Nardin.

The uninsured and those on Medicaid were more likely to receive their migraine care in an emergency department than in a doctor’s office, which explained some, though not all, of their substandard care. People were one-fifth as likely to receive standard acute treatment to stop a migraine and 10 percent as likely to receive standard treatment to prevent migraine in emergency rooms than in doctor’s offices.

“This was a nationally representative sample of people, so our results give a comprehensive picture of migraine care in the entire US,” Nardin said. “With approximately 15 percent of the US population currently uninsured and migraine affecting 12 percent of the population, we estimate that 5.5 million Americans are at risk of substandard treatment of their migraines and of suffering and disability that could be avoided.”

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 22,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, restless legs syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, narcolepsy and stroke.

Rachel L. Seroka | American Academy of Neurology
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>