Società Italiana per lo Studio delle Cefalee


Società Italiana per lo Studio delle Cefalee

Headaches are the third cause of disability worldwide

Paolo Martelletti
Chairman, Lifting The Burden, The Global Campaign against Headache – In Official Relations with World Health Organization

The publication in The Lancet on June 7, 2015 of the Global Burden of Diseases Survey 2013 has brough headaches back to the centre of scientific and cultural attention, which has been rightly theirs for years. The headaches were classified, in this large study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as the third leading cause of disability in the world, calculating the days lived with disability during the lifetime of the patients. Disability arising from pain has been corrected considering the intensity and duration of pain. Migraine, tension-type headache and, for the first time, headache from medication overuse, have been taken into consideration.

This position was made possible by the numerous epidemiological studies carried out in recent years in various continents by Lifting The Burden.

This historical event must be considered within the context of the social and health care initiatives in favour of headaches.

For more information:

Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 Collaborators.
Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries, 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.
Lancet 2015 Jun 5. pii: S0140-6736(15)60692-4. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60692-4. 

Steiner TJ, Birbeck GL, Jensen RH, Katsarava Z, Stovner LJ, Martelletti P.
Headache disorders are third cause of disability worldwide.
J Headache Pain 2015 16: DOI 10.1186/s10194-015-0544-2.


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