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Women who suffer from migraines face increased risk of heart attack, stroke

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 16th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A new medical study has determined that women who suffer from migraine headaches - especially those who migraines are accompanied by visual disturbances, are at an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Migraines are the second biggest risk factor for women suffering a heart attack or stroke

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientists say only high blood pressure is a bigger indicator of a stroke or heart attack than migraines with aura. Migraines, accompanied by vision problems, sometimes described as "auras," include flashing lights.

The landmark 15-year study followed 27,860 women, of who 1,435 had migraine with aura. Previous studies have suggested migraine with aura is linked to a doubling of the risk of a stroke or heart attack. This is the first time it has been named as the second biggest factor.

According to the report from the American Academy of Neurology, there have been 1,030 cases of heart attack, stroke or death from a cardiovascular ailment.
 
"After high blood pressure, migraine with aura was the second strongest single contributor to risk of heart attacks and strokes," study author Dr Tobias Kurth says.

"It came ahead of diabetes, current smoking, obesity, and family history of early heart disease."

Kurth, of the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and the French National Institute of Health, is also a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.

Migraine-plagued women with aura are now three times greater than for those with migraines that lacked this disturbance. A second study released by the same academy said women who had migraines with aura and took hormonal contraceptives were more likely to have blood clots.

Both studies will be presented at the academy's annual meeting in March in San Diego, California.

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