Poor migraineurs

A study titled, “The impact of insurance status on migraine care in the United States: a population based study,” by Andrew P. Wilper, M.D., M.P.H., Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H., David U. Himmelstein, M.D. and Rachel Nardin, M.D. Neurology, April 13, 2010. was published Tuesday, April 13 in Neurology.

It’s out of embargo as of Monday 4/11, and I’m back in town with a few minutes to steal to check in. I cribbed the following from the press release, as the topic isn’t of personal interest to me.

The study looked at two federal surveys, the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, a national sample of all U.S. visits to doctors’ offices, hospital clinics and emergency rooms. They analyzed the 6,814 visits for migraine between 1997 and 2007, representing 68.6 million visits nationwide.They seem to have been looking at traditionally defined migraines, and at prescription of preventative medication plus either triptans or DHE for severe attacks.

Both those lacking private insurance altogether and those on medicare were less likely to receive this; those seen at doctors’ offices (presumably having insurance) were far more likely to receive this standard treatment than those seen in hospitals.