bannerHON
img
HONnews
HONnews
img PATIENT / PARTICULIER img PROFESSIONNEL DE SANTE img WEBMESTRE img
img
 
img
HONcode sites
Khresmoi - new !
HONselect
News
Conferences
Images

Themes:
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q
R S T U V W X Y Z
Browse archive:
2017: O S A J J M A M F J
2016: D N O

 
  Other news for:
Headache
Migraine
 Resources from HONselect
Migraine and Stroke Risk Linked Again
Researchers suggest doctors consider severe headaches a potential risk factor for brain attack

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Women who experience migraines have more than double the risk of suffering a stroke, new research shows. The finding adds evidence to the suspected link between these two conditions.

Although it's not yet clear why this connection may exist, study lead author Dr. Cecil Rambarat said it's important for health care providers to be aware of the link.

"This is important since migraine is generally not considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease," said Rambarat. He's a resident physician at the University of Florida Shands Hospital in Gainesville.

"Maybe providers need to factor in migraine headaches as a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease among women," he said. "This is not being done currently."

Previous research has linked migraines -- especially the form known as migraine with aura -- to stroke. Migraine with aura is estimated to affect one in four migraine patients, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. In these people, changes in vision may accompany their headaches, including blurry vision, sensitivity to bright lights or more dramatic effects such as seeing zig-zag or squiggly lines.

The new study tracked more than 900 U.S. women who showed signs of heart disease between 1996 and 1999. The average age of the participants was 58, and the majority (80 percent) were white.

During six years of follow-up, 18 percent of the women with a history of migraine headaches had a heart attack or stroke compared to 17 percent of those who didn't experience migraines, according to Rambarat.

But, the difference became "significant" after the researchers adjusted their statistics to account for other risk factors, Rambarat said. The researchers found that migraine patients were nearly twice as likely to suffer from cardiac problems -- such as heart attack or stroke -- than those who didn't have migraines, and had more than double the risk of a stroke specifically, he said.

Although the study doesn't prove a cause-and-effect link between migraines and strokes, there are several theories about the apparent connection.

Dr. Gretchen Tietjen is director of the Headache Research and Treatment Center at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences in Ohio. "Since both affect the brain, it's easier when you try to draw the link between migraine and stroke," instead of migraine and heart disease, she said.

But it's possible that the issue may lie in blood vessels as a whole, not just those in the brain, since the vessels play a role in strokes, other kinds of cardiac conditions and migraines, Tietjen said.

Inflammation -- swelling -- and higher levels of blood clotting may play a role in both cardiac problems and migraines, she said. The clogged arteries and high blood pressure that contribute to heart disease, however, don't seem to be connected to migraines, she added.

Tietjen cautioned that there's no need for women with migraines to panic, especially younger ones, since the risk of cardiac problems is still low. It appears less than 1 percent of strokes are related to migraines in women, she said. "It's not zero, and it's not a huge number," she said.

As for the risk in men, the study didn't look at whether a similar migraine-stroke connection might exist in them. Rambarat said other research has suggested a link, but he noted that migraines are much less common in men.

As for preventing migraines, Rambarat isn't recommending that women with migraines take special precautions, although he said physicians can do more to lower the risk of cardiac problems in younger patients. Doctors can start by asking female patients at risk for heart disease about whether they have a history of migraines, he said.

Tietjen said women with migraines should control their risk factors for heart disease. They should avoid smoking, control cholesterol and be cautious about estrogen-based birth control pills because they may increase the risk of stroke.

The study was scheduled for presentation Tuesday at the American Heart Association annual meeting, in New Orleans. Research released at conferences should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

More information

For more about migraine and cardiac disease, visit the American Migraine Foundation.

SOURCES: Cecil Rambarat, M.D., resident physician, University of Florida Health Shands Hospital, Gainesville, Fla.; Gretchen Tietjen, M.D., chair and professor, neurology, and director, Headache Research and Treatment Center, University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Ohio; presentation, American Heart Association meeting, New Orleans, Nov. 15, 2016

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=716724

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Risk
Heart
Women
Headache
Heart Diseases
Risk Factors
Blood
Physicians
Brain
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


Home img About us img MediaCorner img HON newsletter img Site map img Ethical policies img Contact