Healthcare resource use and indirect costs associated with migraine in Italy: results from the My Migraine Voice survey

Paolo Martelletti, Todd J. Schwedt, Pamela Vo, Daniela Ritrovato, Margaret C. Reilly, Mariantonietta Naclerio, Pallavi Ranjan, Joern Kleebach, Parth Joshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: To evaluate the healthcare resource use (HRU) and cost of lost productivity due to migraine among Italians with ≥4 monthly migraine days (MMDs), with a focus on those with ≥2 prior preventive treatment failures (TFs). Materials and methods: Data from Italian participants from the My Migraine Voice survey were used to assess migraine-related HRU and migraine’s impact on work productivity and daily activities using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire. The mean, annualized cost of lost productivity was estimated using the Human Capital Approach and extrapolated to employed Italian population with ≥4 MMDs to calculate the overall migraine-related indirect cost burden in Italy. Results: Data of 420 participants, enrolled between September 2017 and February 2018, were analyzed (mean age: 38.5 years, 81.2% women, 37.8% with ≥2 TF). During a 6-month period, 57.6% of participants visited general practitioners (mean visits: 4.5), 31.9% neurologists (mean visits: 2.6), and 26.4% headache specialists (mean visits: 2.8). Overall, 32.0% of participants had ≥1 emergency room visit (mean visits: 2.8) and 15.0% had ≥1 hospitalization (mean visits: 2.9) because of migraine in the past 12 months. Participants who were employed (N = 215) reported 15.5% absenteeism, 45.3% presenteeism, 53.8% overall work impairment, and 52.6% activity impairment. The mean annualized indirect cost was estimated to be €14,368. The annual indirect cost burden was estimated to be €7.6 billion for the employed Italian population with ≥4 MMDs. The impact of migraine was particularly high among the ≥2 TF subgroups on all parameters. The indirect cost was estimated to be €15,881 (€5,007 attributed to absenteeism). Conclusion: Migraine-related HRU and indirect costs are high among individuals with ≥4 MMDs (particularly those with ≥2 TF). There is a need for more effective treatments and better management of migraines to reduce the functional and economic burden among this difficult-to-treat population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-726
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medical Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Italy
  • economic burden
  • healthcare resource use
  • indirect costs
  • lost productivity
  • migraine
  • work productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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