Is a Migraine a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease?

With February being American Heart Month, some of our blogs have been dedicated to heart disease awareness. A recent Danish study published last month in the BMJ, sheds light on migraines being a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Migraines and Cardiovascular Disease

Migraines are an incapacitating collection of symptoms that include severe head pain, throbbing, visual disturbances, vomiting, upset stomach, dizziness, and more. Migraine attacks can last for a few hours to a few days and can leave people unable to perform their daily tasks. About 1 in 5 Americans suffer from migraines, and women are more likely to have migraines than men.

Cardiovascular disease refers to conditions that lead to narrowed or blocked blood vessels. Narrowed or blocked blood vessels can lead to serious problems like heart attacks and stroke. Cardiovascular disease is unfortunately a common problem in the U.S. In fact, according to the CDC, an American dies from a heart attack every 40 seconds.

During the mentioned Danish study, researchers looked at data of 51,000 people with migraines and compared them to over 510,000 people without migraines. The study found that those with migraines were associated with increased risks for heart attacks, stroke, venous thromboembolism, and atrial fibrillation.

Previous studies have also shown an association between cardiovascular diseases and migraines. Another study that was published in 2016 found that women with migraines were at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease mortality.  

While these studies do show an association between migraine and cardiovascular disease, a causal relationship between the two could not be determined. Further research is needed in this area. However, it does indicate that migraines may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease - especially among women.

Seeking Out a Migraine Specialist

If you suffer from migraines, consider visiting a migraine specialist. These doctors will be able to diagnosis and treat your condition and help you with pain management. If you are looking for a Las Vegas migraine specialist, contact Apex Medical Center. We specialize in treating painful conditions such as migraines and headaches.  

Author
Apex Medical Center

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