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How common are headaches?

Headache disorders affect people from all walks of life. According to the American Council for Headache Education, more than 45 million Americans experience recurring headaches. At least half of them have problems so severe that the headaches are disabling.

Some types of headache are more common than others. For instance, migraines and tension-type headaches together account for about 90% of all headaches. Some headache types are more common to one gender or age group. Some are common among family members. Migraines, for example, often run in families and are found in women 3 times more often than in men. Migraines begin earlier in males than females and occur most often between ages 12 and 40 years.

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Headaches are costly as well as common. Each year, about 10 million visits are made to healthcare providers because of headache pain. Migraines alone account for more than 157 million days of missed work each year.

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