Over the last few years, we've seen several studies about Migraine disease increasing the risk of cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attack. One of the major studies was what's called retrospective, a study in which the researchers went back and reviewed previous studies. In this case, it was 14 small studies related to Migraine and stroke.
Since then, we've seen more information, so much in fact, that it has become confusing and more than a bit frightening to some. We need information, but we don't need overkill, and we need information that can be put into perspective.
Now, a group of top Migraine researchers have pulled the data from studies through January of 2009, reviewed and analyzed it, and published a study that puts it all together for us.
Please don't let the phrases "risk of cardiovascular events," or "stroke risk" unduly upset you or begin any feelings of panic. The data do not warrant that, so please read this full article to help keep the information in perspective.
Twenty-five studies were reviewed:
- Eighteen studies gave results for any form of Migraine.
- Sixteen studies gave results for Migraine with and without aura, separately.
- Ten studies gave results for women only.
- One study gave results for men only.
- Nine studies looked at the association between any form of Migraine and ischemic stroke.
- Eight studies looked the association between Migraine and myocardial infarction (heart attack).
- Five studies looked at the association between Migraine and death due to cardiovascular disease (CVD).
- One study looked at the association between women who had Migraine with aura (MWA) and myocardial infarction and death due to cardiovascular disease.
Conclusions of this review
The authors of this study concluded:
- Migraine is associated with a twofold increased risk of ischemic stroke among people who have Migraine with aura.
- The risk is higher among women.
Risk is further magnified for
- people with Migraine who were under 45-years-old,
- people who smoke, and
- women who used oral contraceptives.