The Dangerous Link Between Migraines and Heart Attacks
In addition to sensitivity to light and noise, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and visual disturbances, those who suffer from migraine attacks may have another, more serious, side effect to worry about: An increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
A study, which involved nearly 6000 participants provided a cardiovascular risk profile of those who suffer from migraine attacks and those who suffer from migraine with aura--referring to a visual or other form of hallucination prior to a migraine attack. One-third of the participants who suffered from migraines experienced aura symptoms before a headache arose.
The Study Results
People with migraines, particularly those with aura, may be more likely to present risk factors associated with cardiovascular conditions. In fact, it has been found that migraine with aura increases the risk of stroke before the age of 45; however, the reason for this statistic is not yet known. Findings showed:
Those with migraine were 43 percent more likely to be smokers, though less likely to consume alcohol
Those with migraine with aura symptoms were 43 percent more likely to suffer from high cholesterol; they were also 76 percent more likely to suffer from high blood pressure
People with migraine with aura were more likely to report a history of either stroke or heart disease before the age of 45
The Gender Role
Women with migraine were twice as likely to be using oral contraceptives; they were also more likely to report a history of high blood pressure during pregnancy than those without migraine.
Men with migraine, on the other hand, were almost twice as likely to have a father with a history of heart attack--though both men and women with migraine overall were nearly two times more likely to have a mother with a history of early heart attack.
Neurology February 22, 2005; 64(4): 614-20 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15728281?dopt=Abstract
Medical News Today February 22, 2005http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=20247