Canadians and migraine

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. There is little migraine awareness in Canada. I piggy-back on the US migraine awareness because we have none. No day, week or month. Here is our list of days Canada awareness days. And nary a day for migraines.

I try to do everything I can to advocate for migraine awareness during June because I believe it is important people are aware this disease can profoundly affect a life. But in Canada, there simply isn’t that much awareness to promote. I do it all online. There are no events, talks or large organizations to support.

In the states, they talk about lack of funding for migraine research. Imagine what it is here. Imagine with the lack of people thinking about it, talking about it and being aware of it what our funding is. Nill I expect. And very little research I expect, although I have seen some crop up from here.

In fact, I only found a few sites on the topic at all and none of them are promoting awareness at all.

Chronic Migraine

Canadian Headache Society

Migraine Canada FB

Nevertheless, us Canadian Migraineurs have a voice as well, that isn’t often heard in the discussion. Here are some of our Canadian stats from 2010/2011

In 2010/2011, an estimated 8.3% of Canadians (2.7 million) reported that they had been diagnosed with migraine

Females were more than twice as likely as males to report migraine (11.8% versus 4.7%), a pattern that prevailed among all age groups except children younger than 12 (Figure 1). Fewer than 1% of children had migraine, and no significant difference emerged between boys and girls. For both sexes, prevalence was highest at ages 30 to 49; the mean age for women was 43, slightly older than for men (40) (p < 0.01).

On average, migraine was diagnosed at 26.2, 3.6 years after symptoms were first experienced (p < 0.01). There was no significant difference by sex, contrary to earlier findings that onset peaks earlier for men than women

Compared with the national figure, migraine prevalence was lower in Quebec (6.8%) and higher in Manitoba (9.5%), Nova Scotia (9.1%) and Ontario (8.8%).

The majority of migraineurs reported symptoms of depression—63% were classified with minimal or mild depression, and 20% had moderate to severe depression.

About one-quarter of migraineurs experienced pain that prevented activities (26%) or felt left out of things because of their condition (26%). More than half (53%) reported that migraine had prevented them from driving, at least for a short time. Migraine limited getting a good night’s sleep for three-quarters of migrainerus (76%). Almost a third (30%) reported limitations in educational opportunities.

About one-third of migraineurs reported limitations in job opportunities (34%), although the majority were currently employed (70%). Over one-third of those currently working (36%) reported missing at least one day of work in the past three months owing to migraine. Nearly one in five (18%) who had previously been employed reported that they had changed their work activities (hours, type of work, or stopped work) for at least three months because of migraine. Previous studies indicate that migraine is strongly associated with lost productive time, most of which is linked to presenteeism (reduced productivity) rather than absenteeism Stats Canada

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