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A Case Study for Calculating Employer Costs for Lost Productive Time in Episodic Migraine and Chronic Migraine: Results of the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention Study

Stewart, Walter F. PhD; Bruce, Christa MPH; Manack, Aubrey PhD; Buse, Dawn C. PhD; Varon, Sepideh F. PhD; Lipton, Richard B. MD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: October 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue 10 - p 1161–1171
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31822cff3c
Original Articles

Objective: To model workplace lost productive time (LPT) from episodic migraine (EM) and chronic migraine (CM).

Methods: We used published estimates of migraine epidemiology and related LPT to model the impact of migraine on two typical US workforce scenarios that differ by gender and age.

Results: In a simulated service sector workforce of 10,000 individuals, the migraine-related LPT was $2.9 million annually compared with $2.1 million for a manufacturing workforce. Individuals with moderate frequency EM accounted for 42% of the cost. Individuals with high frequency EM and CM comprised 10% of all migraine sufferers and accounted for 22% of the LPT.

Conclusions: Lost productive time impact of migraine and other health problems depends on workforce demographics and the cost of labor. Employers can often estimate LPT costs to reveal priorities for optimizing use of health care.

Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text.

From the Geisinger Clinic (Dr Stewart and Ms Bruce), Center for Health Research, Danville, Pa; Allergan Pharmaceuticals (Drs Manack and Varon), Irvine, Calif; and Department of Neurology (Drs Buse and Lipton), Albert Einstein College of Medicine and The Montefiore Headache Center Unit (Drs Buse and Lipton), Bronx, NY.

Address correspondence to: Walter F. Stewart, PhD, Geisinger Clinic, Center for Health Research, MC 44-00, 100 N Academy, Ave, Danville, PA 17822 (

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©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine