According to recent research, women who have migraine with aura are at an increased risk for “cardiovascular events”.
This study was actually an investigation into the Women’s Health Study, a large study, which we’ve talked about before, which collected all kinds of information about thousands of women over 15 years.
What were the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular events (CV), such as heart attack and stroke?
- High Blood Pressure
- Migraine with Aura
- Family History of Heart Attack
- Current Smoking
That’s right, migraine with aura came in as the #2 risk factor for women.
There’s no doubt that this study will increase interest in the study of migraine and heart problems. The connection between the two is not yet understood, although theories are beginning to emerge.
But the link is not new. We’ve known for some time that there’s an increased risk of cardiovascular problems in migraineurs, and not just women who have migraine with aura (for example the same researcher, Dr. Tobias Kurth, reported that men with migraine seem to have an increased risk of heart attack).
Some good news has also come from the Women’s Health Study – for example, women with migraine with aura are less likely to be disabled after stroke.
Even with migraine, your risk is probably low unless it’s combined with other factors above. Still, this is a reminder that migraine can be dangerous, and it does need to be treated. It should also raise awareness for migraineurs and their doctors that they should be cautious of other risk factors, including medications that may increase their risk.
For more, read Migraine and Heart Disease: 7 Critical Things to Know Now.
For more on the study: Migraine with aura confers high CV risk in women