Background and objectives: The migraine headache is a chronic and sometimes progressive neurological disorder that can be characterized as the recurrent episodes of headaches and related symptoms. Migraine headache syndrome is considered extremely prevalent all over the globe, but it is still under-estimated, under-recognized, under-diagnosed and under-treated. The objective of this review was to demonstrate the global prevalence of migraine, and to explore the reasons why this prevalent and disabling neurological disorder is under-estimated, under-recognized, under-diagnosed and under-treated. Methods: We used a number of electronic databases to identify the relevant published studies which demonstrated the prevalence of migraines, and barriers of poor migraine headaches care.We included general population-based studies on the prevalence of migraine headache if they fulfilled the following criteria; (1) a reliabledata collection method (e.g., personal interview, telephonic interview and questionnaire)and (2) the use of the International Headache Society’s (IHS) criteria (1988 or 2004) for migraine headache diagnosis. Results and conclusions: Of 539 articles found initially, 237 were selected for additional review. Subsequently, 90 articles were included in the final analysis. This review concluded that the migraine headache influenced 11.4% (7.9% males and 14.8% females) worldwide.The hurdles accountable for poor migraine headache care vary all over the globe, and could be categorized as societal, clinical, financial and political. By having concentrations on such hurdles, this problem could be lessened, and headache relief will be able to gain the priority that it deserves.
Key Words: Migraine; Headache; Migraine prophylaxis; Epidemiology; Migraine prevalence; Migraine disability; Migraine care barriers