Clinical Edge

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Men, Non-Whites Underrepresented in Migraine Trials

Headache; ePub 2017 Jan 27; Robbins, Bernat

Most recent headache studies comply with the National Institute of Health (NIH) mandate to include women and minorities in research trials, particularly US-based and industry-funded studies, according to a recent study. Whites, however, are overrepresented compared to both the general population and the population of migraineurs. Researchers conducted a literature search for pertinent articles examining the inclusion of women and minorities in migraine clinical research trials. They identified controlled-trials for migraine published since 2011 in major neurology, headache, and general medicine journals using the term “migraine randomized controlled trial.” They found:

  • 128 relevant clinical trials were identified, of which 36 met inclusion criteria.
  • All 36 trials (100%) reported gender frequency, and 25 of 36 (69.4%) reported ethnicity or race.
  • Among all studies, women and whites represented 84.2 and 82.9% of participants (mean), respectively.
  • Men and non-whites in the US were statistically underrepresented.


Robbins NM, Bernat JL. Minority representation in migraine treatment trials. [Published online ahead of print January 27, 2017]. Headache. doi:10.1111/head.13018.