CVD Risk Appears to Be Increased in Women With Migraine

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CVD Risk Appears to Be Increased in Women With Migraine
CVD Risk Appears to Be Increased in Women With Migraine

WEDNESDAY, June 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Women who suffer from migraine headaches may have a slightly increased risk of heart disease or stroke, according to a study published online May 31 in The BMJ.

Tobias Kurth, M.D., director of the Institute of Public Health at Charite-Universitatsmedizin in Berlin, and colleagues analyzed data on 115,541 U.S. women who took part in the Nurses' Health Study II. At the start of the study, the women were aged 25 to 42, free from cardiovascular disease, and were followed from 1989 to 2011. At the study's start, 15 percent of the women had migraines. During 20 years of follow-up, 1,329 women had major cardiovascular disease events and 223 died from cardiovascular disease.

The researchers found that, compared with women who did not have migraines, women who had migraines had a 50 percent greater risk for developing major cardiovascular disease. Specifically, women with migraines had about a 39 percent higher risk of myocardial infarction, a 62 percent higher risk of stroke, and a 73 percent higher risk of angina/coronary revascularization procedures. In addition, migraine was linked with a 37 percent higher risk for cardiovascular disease mortality. These associations remained after the researchers accounted for other risk factors, such as smoking, hypertension, age, and use of oral contraceptives.

"Physicians should be aware of the association between migraine and cardiovascular disease, and women with migraine should be evaluated for their risk," Kurth told HealthDay.

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