Studies show that migraine is more common among people with lower incomes, but does migraine affect income or does income affect migraine?
Researchers at Sutter Health, a not-for-profit health system in Northern California, examined the relationship by looking at whether developing migraines limits people’s educational and career achievements, leading to a lower income status, or whether problems related having a lower income, like stressful life events and poor access to health care, increase the likelihood of developing migraines.
For the study, over 160,000 people participated. Low income was defined as less than $22,500 per year for the household.
“New evidence from this study shows that a higher percentage of people have migraine in low income groups because more people get migraine, not because people in lower income groups have migraine for a longer period of time. These results strongly support the theory that stressors associated with lower income play an important role in the relationship between migraine and income. Identifying these factors may be a crucial step toward developing prevention strategies,” study author Walter F. Stewart, PhD, was quoted as saying.