Migraine increases risk of heart disease in women: Study

Top view of tired beautiful girl keeping hands on her temples while lying in bed

A new study from Harvard has reported a consistent link between migraine headaches and major heart diseases in women. It involved tracking the health records of 115,000 women in between the ages of 25 to 42 years over a period of 20 years.

15% of the women had a migraine when the evaluation process began. The study revealed that headache sufferers had a 50% greater risk of significant cardiac disease and 39% more prone to have a heart attack. The findings of the research were published in The BMJ.

A joint team of US and German researchers conducted a significant study to find out if there is a link between the incidence of a migraine and cardiac ailments.

It analyzed data on 115,541 women who had in the Nurses’ Health Study 2. The subject of the research was aged between 25 to 42 years. They did not suffer from any angina or heart disease. The health of the subjects was followed for 20 years for Heart ailments and mortality.

The evaluation revealed that 17,531 women were suffering from headaches. Another 6389 were diagnosed with a migraine in the 20 years of analysis. In the intervening period, 1,329 experienced cardiovascular events like cardiac attacks and strokes, while 223 deaths were related to heart disease.

Researchers found that subjects afflicted with a migraine were more liable to have incidences of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and had a family history of heart attacks. They were also more apt to smoke and overweight. The research also accounted for the risk factors which could influence the incidence of heart ailments in the subjects and found that females with migraines were 50 percent more risk developing heart disease than women without a migraine.

The researchers, however, were quick to say that it does not mean that Migraine suffering women are going to suffer from cardiovascular ailments, and there is much to be studied. It is not clear if treating migraine reduces the risk of cardiac diseases.