Migraines, Heart Disease, and Stroke

August 25, 2010

Two studies show a link between migraine with aura and risk of heart disease and stroke.

The first large population-based study to look at the link between migraine and mortality has shown that those who suffer from migraine with aura are at increased risk of dying from all causes, and specifically either heart disease or stroke. The study results, published online in BMJ(username and password required to access site) by researchers from the University of Iceland, do show, however, that individual risk for heart disease and stroke remains low for a migraine sufferer.

After analyzing more than 470,000 person-years of data with 26 years of follow-up, the team, led by Larus Gudmundsson, also found that men and women with migraine without aura were not at increased risk.

And although the results show that women migraineurs with aura were at increased risk of dying from causes other than cardiovascular disease and cancer, the researches wrote “it remains to be seen which diseases drive the risk increase seen for women with migraine," say the researchers.”

The results of a related study, also published online in BMJ, show that women migraineures with aura are also at increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke, although lead author Dr. Tobias Kurth, said that this risk also remains low and that further research is needed to confirm the findings.

More on Migraines in the News:

  • Do Migraines Run in Families?
  • Vikings' Harvin returns to practice for first time since collapsing last week because of a migraine headache
  • What are silent migraines, and can they lead to migraine headaches?
  • Brain may take an acid trip into migraines