More and more young women are struggling with headaches


Almost 8 million Germans suffer from headaches - especially young women. Is the pressure to perform and stress responsible for this? 

They annoy us, can ruin our day, and, in the worst case, life: headachesAccording to a doctor's report by the Barmer Ersatzkasse, the disease is increasingly becoming a widespread disease - especially among young women. 

19-year-old women are most commonly affected

In Germany, almost one in ten (9.3 percent) is receiving medical treatment for headaches. The 2017 Medical Report from Barmer also shows that young adults, in particular, are increasingly suffering from headaches - most often 19-year-old women. At this age, almost one in five is affected.

Overall, women suffer more than twice as often as men from tension headaches and migraines: A headache diagnosis was documented in around 6.3 percent of men and around 12.3 percent of women in 2015.

Headache diagnoses, especially in women aged 18 to 27, are significantly higher than in men of the same age. The difference was particularly large among 19-year-olds: 19.7 percent of women of this age were being treated for headaches, while the figure was 13.8 percent for men.

An increase of 42 percent - in ten years

The health insurance company described the fact that the frequency of headache diagnoses among young adults has increased significantly more than in the general population as alarming. The number of medically diagnosed headaches in the general population increased by 12.4 percent between 2005 and 2015 - among 18 to 27-year-olds the proportion even increased by 42 percent.

Also, there is presumably a high number of unreported cases, because not all headache sufferers go to the doctor, but help themselves with over-the-counter medication.

What are the reasons for the headache?

The causes of the headache are not clear. The extreme increase could "be proof that the pressure on young people has increased enormously in recent years", says Prof. Christoph Straub, CEO of Barmer. The sharp increase in the use of digital devices such as smartphones and computers could also be partly responsible.