We know that migraine patients are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. But why? In other words, what is happening to the body that is increasing the risk?
A recent study took a step toward answering the question. Published in the June 2009 issue of Neurology, the study of 12 migraineurs came out of Italy.
Basically, the study (Vascular smooth muscle cell dysfunction in patients with migraine.) found a problem with the blood vessels of migraine patients. The blood vessels didn’t react normally to certain stimuli – specifically, they didn’t expand as expected. The researchers came to the conclusion that migraineurs may have "distinct vascular smooth muscle cell dysfunction".
This is important because this type of dysfunction is a major factor when it comes to vascular disease, and a lot of current research is focused on solving this particular issue to treat patients.
This is very important research, because cardiovascular disease is one reason migraine can be deadly.
In the mean time, this is another reminder to us migraineurs to keep our hearts healthy – don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoke, be active, eat a healthy diet, keep your weight at a healthy level, and avoid illegal drugs. Also, be sure your doctor is aware of your medical history, and don’t take unneccesary risks with the medications you take.