notes on learning, design, tools, & life

Migraines Are a Serious Problem. Employers Can Help.

I worked most of the day today through the fog of a migraine, so this piece from Olivia Begasse de Dhaem for HBR seemed timely:

While many people think of migraine attacks as little more than bad headaches, migraine is in fact a chronic condition whose symptoms can be far more debilitating than an ordinary headache. Migraine attacks are often accompanied by intense pain, difficulty thinking, changes in vision, dizziness, nausea, and increased sensitivity to light, noise, and smells. Furthermore, research has shown that migraine is among the most disabling disorders in terms of its long-term impact on quality of life, and it is extremely prevalent: 47 million Americans and over a billion people worldwide suffer from migraine, with attacks peaking during the most productive professional years (25-55 years old).

This pair of statistics stood out to me:

While recent research is limited, studies from the last two decades found that productivity lost due to migraine costs U.S. employers at least $13 billion and European employers €27 billion every year — and these costs have likely only increased in the years since the studies were conducted.

Are U.S. workers suffering less migraines? Is this a reflection of differences in work-life balance between Europe and the U.S.?