Posted on Feb 22, 2010, 6 a.m.
People who suffer from migraines may be at an increased risk of heart attack and other risk factors for heart disease.
In an effort to explore the relationship between migraine and cardiovascular disease (CVD), Marcelo E. Bigal, from Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York, USA), and colleagues studied 6,102 people with migraine and 5,243 people without migraine, surveying them for questions about headaches, treatment, general health and any diagnosed heart problems. The researchers found that people who had migraines were about twice as likely to have a heart attack compared to people without migraines, or 4.1% of people with migraine compared to 1.9% of those without migraine. The risk was nearly three times greater for people who experienced migraine with aura, or sensations such as seeing flashing lights that come before the migraine headache, compared to people without migraines. The team also found that people with migraine with aura were one and half times more likely to have diabetes and high cholesterol compared to people without migraine.
M. E. Bigal, T. Kurth, N. Santanello, D. Buse, W. Golden, M. Robbins, R. B. Lipton. “Migraine and cardiovascular disease. A population-based study.” Neurology, February 10, 2010; doi: doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181d0cc8b.