Migraines and the link to Cardiovascular Disease

Migraines and the link to Cardiovascular Disease

USA- The author says while risks are slow, migraines should be accounted for as potential risks for cardiovascular diseases in men and women.

Billions of people worldwide suffer from migraines. It impacts their quality of life on a daily basis and can be a huge burden to society.

Past studies have suggested that migraines are linked to heart attacks and strokes, especially among women.  However migraines being linked to other heart problems are not well known.

Researchers from  Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark and Stanford University, USA tried to examine the risks of heart attacks, strokes, peripheral artery disease, which reduces the blood flow to limbs, also blood clots and tachycardia (fast hearbeat) and arrythmia (irregular heart beat) in people who suffered from migraines, compared to other people who ner have had a migraine.

Over 19 years, from 1995 to 2013 data was also collected by the Danish National Patient Registry.  Researchers also compared data from over 51,000 people who suffered and had been diagnosed with migraines, compared to another 510,000 who have never had a migraine before.  Every person that had a migraine, was placed with 10 people who were under the same gender and age who had never suffered from a migraine.

The majority of the participants were women, 71%.  Their average age of when they were diagnosed with migraines was 35 years old. 

Through 19 years of research they found that there was a connection between migraines, heart attacks, arrythmia and blood clots. 

For every 1,000 patients, 25 of them had a heart attack associated with migraines.  There were 17 patients who did not suffer from migraines, but 45 of them had ischaemic strokes which is a blood clot to the brain.  In comparison to those 25 patients who did not suffer from migraines. 

They were more comparable once they took body mass index and smoking into account. There was however, no connection between heart failure or peripheral artery disease. 

The links between stroke were a lot stronger on the first year of being diagnosed than later in patients life who had migraines accompanied by aura (seeing flashing lights before a migraine) than those who did not get aura, both men and women.

The studies done were only based on observations.  No final conclusions can be made about the cause and the authors cannot count out other causes or unknown factors like physical activity could have changed the results. Key factors should be taken into account in this research as well as long term progress anf follow through.

Reasons why migraines place them at risk for cardiovascular disease are the fact that they use NSAIDS (anti-inflammatory drugs) which places them at higher risk of cardiovascular problems.  With that, they also outlined that migraines often causes patients to become immobolized, which in turn could cause blood clots.

Currently it is not recommended to use anti clotting drugs like Aspirin to treat migraine sufferers. But doctors should take that into consideration as migraine sufferers could benefit from an anti-coagulant drug, especially those at higher risk of heard disease. 

In conclusion, it is important to determine how we can reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease in patienst who suffer from migraines, migraines should be taken into serious considerations as possible factors for these diseases. 

Lots of information is now available to prove that migraines should be taken seriously and that there is a marker to link them to cardiovascular disease.  Something should be done to come up with a solution to this explains Professor Tobias Kurth to his other colleagues that were part of this research. There is no funding in Migraine Research.  They say is something that public should take seriously, act quickly and invest in funding for them to have studies in this field and in addition have a goal in mind to accomplish. 


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