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Migraine Headaches in Women Linked to Heart Attack, Stroke Risk: Study

Update Date: Jun 07, 2016 07:31 AM EDT

Migraine headaches among women are linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke. A new study revealed that women prone to migraines may have a higher risk of the mentioned conditions than other women without it and men in general.

Migraine Headaches and Heart Disease in Women

In their findings, researchers concluded that women who suffer from migraine headaches should be alerted for risk of heart attack and stroke. Researchers followed more than 100,000 women over a decade. They found that those who suffered from migraine headaches were 50 percent likelier to get a heart attack or stroke during the study period.

To be more specific, women with migraine headaches had nearly 40 percent chances of getting a heart attack and more than 60 percent risk of getting a stroke. Furthermore, migraines were also linked to more than 35 percent risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases. The details of the study were published on The BMJ.

Lead author Dr Tobias Kurth from the Institute of Public Health in Germany said that their findings could also be used for men, Telegraph noted. This is because a significant amount of the population including both men and women suffer from migraine headaches.

Migraines as Risk Factor for Heart Disease and Stroke?

There are other bigger risk factors for heart attack and stroke, but migraines should also be included, says Dr. Rebecca Burch of the Harvard Medical School, who was not involved in the study. Burch, who wrote an accompanying editorial about the research, explained that migraines are common among women, Live Science reported. While having high cholesterol, high blood pressure or having a lifestyle with alcohol and tobacco are factors for cardiovascular disease, 1 in 4 US women have migraines.

Migraines are recurrent and painful headaches that affect a certain part of the head. It is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting, Mayo Clinic wrote. Severe migraines can be debilitating as it can last for many hours up to many days and can sometimes cause tingling sensation in the arms and legs, light flashes and more.

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