Migraine Linked With Cardiovascular Disease
While the reasons for the connection are not clear, migraine, which affects an estimated 1 in 5 Americans for at least a part of their lives, has long been understood to be a risk factor for stroke. According to a recent study -- based on collaboration between scientists in Germany and the United States -- it appears that migraine might also be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
The new research, published in The BMJ, analyzed data from more than 115,000 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study 2. Begun in 1989, NHS2 is one of the largest-ever investigations into risk factors for major chronic diseases in women. More than 17,000 women reported migraines at the start of the study. Between 1989 and 2011, more than 1,300 participants experienced cardiovascular events, and 223 died from cardiovascular disease. In addition, the women with migraine saw an increased risk of cardiovascular events, including stroke and heart attacks.
"These results," note the study's authors, "further add to the evidence that migraine should be considered an important risk marker for cardiovascular disease, at least in women."