News Headlines Article

1 in 8 headache visits leads to brain scan, research shows
San Francisco Chronicle

Headaches and migraines are among the most common reason Americans visit the doctor. And although medical guidelines say most of these patients don’t need brain scans, a new study shows many are getting them anyway – at a cost of about $1 billion a year.

Researchers at the University of Michigan analyzed four years’ of headache data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and concluded that, from 2007 through 2010, about 1 in 8 headache patients – mostly women – had a CT or MRI scan. The cost of these scans totaled $3.9 billion.