Aura With Your Migraines? Your Risk of Atrial Fibrillation May Be Higher

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A study published in the journal Neurology suggests migraine with aura is associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, or a-fib, a type of arrhythmia that raises stroke risk. About one in four people who live with migraine experience aura — blurry vision, blind spots, or visual disturbances like wavy lines and flashes of light that occur prior to or during attacks — according to the American Migraine Foundation.

Researchers from the University of South Carolina in Columbia followed 11,939 people with no history of a-fib or stroke whose average age was 60 for up to 20 years. In all, 1,516 participants had migraines — 426 of whom had migraines with aura.

During the study, 17 percent of participants without migraine, 18 percent of participants with migraine with aura, and 14 percent of people with migraine without aura developed atrial fibrillation. After adjusting for other factors that affect a-fib risk — age, gender, blood pressure, smoking status, for example — the migraine with aura group were 30 percent more likely than those without migraines and 40 percent more likely than those with aura-less migraines to develop the heart rhythm disorder.

Sourced from: Neurology