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Increase in migraine diagnoses and guideline-concordant treatment in veterans, 2004-2012.

Altalib HH, Fenton BT, Sico J, Goulet JL, Bathulapalli H, Mohammad A, Kulas J, Driscoll M, Dziura J, Mattocks K, Kerns R, Brandt C, Haskell S. Increase in migraine diagnoses and guideline-concordant treatment in veterans, 2004-2012. Cephalalgia : an international journal of headache. 2017 Jan 1; 37(1):3-10.

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Background and aim Health administrators, policy makers, and educators have attempted to increase guideline adherence of migraine medications while reducing inappropriate use of opioid- and barbiturate-containing medications. We evaluated the burden of migraine and proportion of guideline-concordant care in a large, national health care system over time. Methods We conducted a time-series study using data from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) electronic health record. Veterans with migraines were identified by ICD-9 code (346.X). Prescriptions and comorbid conditions were evaluated before and after migraine diagnosis. Chi-square tests and logistic regression were performed. Results A total of 57,064 veterans were diagnosed with migraine headache (5.3%), with women significantly more likely diagnosed (11.6% vs. 4.4%, p? < 0.0001). The number of veterans diagnosed with migraine has significantly increased over the years. By 2012, triptans were prescribed to 43% of people with migraine, with no difference by gender. However, triptan prescriptions increased from 2004 to 2012 in men, but not women, veterans. Preventive medicines showed a significant increase with the year of migraine diagnosis, after controlling for age, sex, race, and for comorbidities treated with medications used for migraine prevention. Conclusions The burden of migraines is increasing within the VHA, with a corresponding increase in the delivery of guideline-concordant acute and prophylactic migraine-specific medication.

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