This week’s news that migraine sufferers are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared to the general population is important, but no reason for panic. A study published in the journal Neurology found migraineurs to be at greater risk of heart attack and stroke and more likely to have the key risk factors for cardiovascular disease (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol) than people who do not experience migraines.
The important takeaway message of this news is the need to start routinely screening migraine patients for the risk factors of cardiovascular disease. While migraineurs in the study were 50 percent more likely to have these risk factors, these issues can often be improved through lifestyle changes and medication. Furthermore, the risk of heart attack or stroke is still very low for migraineurs.
Previous research studies discovered an increased risk of stroke among people with a migraine with aura. The increased risk of cardiovascular disease observed in this new study was found among migraineurs with aura and without aura. It is not known whether there may be any cause or effect relationship between migraine disorder and cardiovascular disease.
Doctors Urged to Manage Cardiovascular Risks of Migraine Sufferers
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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain, and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.