Study Finds That Migraine Increases Susceptibility to Stroke

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Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark have discovered that people with migraines are more susceptible to strokes before they turn 60. Moreover, women with migraines are more likely to experience heart attacks.

Women are more likely to experience heart attacks

Migraines increase the risk of ischemic strokes. An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot clogs a blood vessel in the brain, cutting off blood supply to that area of the brain. This stroke can occur in women and men who experience migraines. However, a heart attack is more likely to occur in women. A hemorrhagic stroke, which occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, is also more common in women.

According to Dr. Cecilia Hvitfeldt, a lead study author from the university, many studies have shown that women have a slightly higher risk of ischemic stroke. This study set out to find if they were also at increased risk of experiencing a hemorrhagic stroke or heart attack.

How researchers conducted the study

The researchers evaluated the medical records of Danish patients aged 18 to 60 between 1996 and 2018. Using the prescription records, they were able to identify patients with migraines. Researchers compared the risk these patients had of stroke and heart attacks with others who didn’t experience migraines. Their findings showed that men and women with migraines had the same chance of ischemic stroke. However, women were more likely to suffer from hemorrhagic strokes and heart attacks.

This study proves that migraines, which are more common in women, affect them more adversely than men. The researchers believe that their numbers might underestimate migraines’ impact on health as they only focused on respondents who had received treatment for their condition.

Identifying patients with migraines is essential as it might lead scientists to take preventative measures to reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks. The treatment of migraines typically involves alleviating symptoms or preventing the migraine.

Treatment measures that could help prevent migraines include lifestyle changes such as reducing stress, exercising, retiring enough sleep, hydrating, and avoiding triggers. Botox injections every 12 weeks are also helpful. When a migraine occurs, painkillers and anti-nausea medication can treat it.

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