Women’s Health: Study Shows Women With Migraine Faces Higher Threat of Heart Disease, Stroke


In a report published May 31 in the journal BMJ, Lead Researcher Dr. Tobias Kurth, director of the Institute of Public Health at Charite-Universitatsmedizin in Berlin, Germany said that migraine should be considered an indicator for higher risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly heart disease and stroke in women.

However, Kurth cautioned that the study published at BMJ is yet to prove that migraine causes heart attack or stroke. It just shows that such cases are likely to occur to women. Men are similarly affected but less likely. Kurth added that there are no reasons to believe that the case is limited to women's health, Napa Valley Register reported.

Moreover, migraines are headaches manifested by an intense pulsing which often goes with nausea, vomiting and light and sound sensitivity. In the past, they have been linked to an increased risk for stroke. But this new study find out that they are associated to possible heart attack, the need for heart surgery and, worse, death, Medline Plus said.

The researchers of this study analyzed data on more than 116,000 American women who took part in the Nurses' Health Study II. These women were aged 25 to 42, free from heart disease and were monitored since 1989 to 2011. At the beginning, 15 percent of the women experienced migraines. All through 20 years of check-up of women's health, over 1,300 women had a heart attack or stroke while 223 died from one of those conditions, the researchers found.

On the analysis of women's health finding, women who had migraines had a 50 percent greater risk for heart attack, surgery to open blocked heart arteries or stroke. Distinctively, women with migraines had about a 39 percent higher risk of heart attack a 73 percent higher risk of heart surgery and, a 62 percent higher risk of stroke, Kurth said. Additionally, migraine was associated with a 37 percent higher risk of death from a heart attack or stroke, the findings suggested.

These associations remained after the researchers accounted for other women's health risk factors, namely: age, high blood pressure, smoking and use of oral contraceptives, NVR added.

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