Women with migraines are at high risk of heart attack and stroke

Women with migraines are at high risk of heart attack and stroke

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Study Finds Link Between Migraine And Heart Disease And Stroke
Migraines are a neurological disorder that women particularly often suffer from. Sick people complain of periodic severe headaches. Researchers have now found that women who suffer from undue migraines also have a slightly increased risk of heart disease and strokes.

Scientists from Charite University Medicine in Berlin have now found that women who suffer from migraines have an increased risk of developing heart diseases and strokes. The experts published the results of their study in the British Medical Journal.

Migraines are a marker of an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases
Migraines should be seen as a marker for an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, at least in women, says lead researcher Professor Tobias Kurth from the Charité in Berlin. The results of the study cannot prove that migraines cause heart attacks or strokes, they only show that the likelihood of such diseases increases. The effects could also affect men. There is no reason to assume that this effect only occurs in women, explains Professor Kurth.

The effects of migraines:
With migraines there is a periodic, seizure-like, pulsating and half-sided headache. This is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and noise, the doctors explain. In some patients, a migraine attack is preceded by a so-called migraine aura, during which optical or sensitive perception disorders occur in particular. Motor disturbances are also possible. Migraines have previously been associated with an increased risk of stroke. The new results now show an increased risk of stroke and heart attack, the experts add.

Study examined more than 116,000 women in the United States
Doctors should be aware of the connection between migraines and certain cardiovascular diseases in order to correctly assess the risk for women with migraines, says Professor Kurth. For the new study, the researchers analyzed the data from more than 116,000 women in the United States. The subjects were part of the so-called Health Study II. At the beginning of the study, the participating women were between 25 and 42 years old and did not suffer from any heart diseases, the researchers explain. The doctors examined the subjects from 1989 to 2011.

Migraines in women increase the likelihood of death from a heart attack or stroke
At the start of the study, about 15 percent of women had migraines. During the 20-year follow-up, more than 1,300 women suffered a heart attack or stroke, the researchers say. 223 women even died of one of these conditions, the doctors explain. Compared to women who never suffered from migraines, women with migraines had a 50 percent increased risk of heart attacks or strokes. Women with migraines were 39 percent more likely to have heart attacks, 62 percent more likely to have strokes, and 73 percent more likely to have heart surgery later, Professor Kurth explains. In addition, such women are 37 percent more likely to die prematurely, due to a heart attack or stroke.

Measures must be taken to reduce migraine dangers
According to the researchers, migraines should be added to the list of known risk factors for heart disease. The problem here is that migraines can usually occur early in life and cardiovascular diseases usually only show up later in life. It is important to ensure that we evaluate the cardiovascular risk in women with migraines and reduce the existing risk, for example through regular exercise, advice and checking of blood pressure, the doctors explain. (as)

Author and source information

Video: Migraine and Heart Disease: The Link Intensifies (July 2022).


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