Background: Migraine headache is associated with high costs, but changes over time of inpatient burden in the United States are unknown. Understanding longitudinal trends is necessary to determine the costs of evolving inpatient treatments that target biological factors in the generation of pain such as vasodilation and aberrant activity of trigeminal neurotransmitters. We report the migraine hospital burden trend in the United States over 15 years. Methods: Data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample of the Hospitalization Cost and Utilization Project databases were analyzed from 1997 to 2012. Inpatient costs were reported in dollars for the cost to the institution, whereas charges reflect the amount billed. These parameters were trended and the average annual percent change was calculated to illustrate year-to-year changes. Results: Overall discharges for migraine headache reached a low of 30,761 discharges in 1999, and peaked in 2012 with 54,510 discharges. Average length of stay decreased from 3.5 days in 1997 to 2.8 days in 2012. Total inpatient charges increased from $176 million in 1999 to $1.2 billion in 2012. Inpatient costs totaled $322 million in 2012, with an average daily cost of $2,111. Conclusions: Inpatient burden rapidly increased over the analyzed period, with hospital charges increasing from $5,939 per admission and $176 million nationwide in 1997, to $21,576 per admission and $1.2 billion nationwide in 2012. This trend provides context for research examining cost-effectiveness and quality of life benefits for current treatments. The study of these parameters together with better prevention and improved outpatient treatment may help alleviate the inpatient burden of migraine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas