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Migraine linked to heart disease

A study by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York has reported on an association between migraine and heart attack.

15 Mar 2010
A study by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine atYeshiva University in New York has reported in a recent online edition of Neurology on an association betweenmigraine and heart attack.

A collaboration with Merck Research Laboratories involvingmore than 11,300 participants - about 6,100 people with migraine and about5,240 without - has found that people with migraines may be at increased riskof heart attack and other risk factors for heart disease such as diabetes, highblood pressure and high cholesterol. The subjects answered questions aboutheadache frequency and treatment, plus diagnosed heart problems and generalhealth.

Data were collected as part of The American MigrainePrevalence and Prevention Study, a longitudinal, population-based study ofmigraine patients in the US.

The study found that people with migraines were about twice as likely to have aheart attack as those without (or 4.1% of people with against 1.9% of peoplewithout). The risk was almost three times greater for those who experiencedmigraine with aura. People with migraines with aura were one and a half timesmore likely to have diabetes and high cholesterol compared with people withoutmigraines.

Lead investigator Prof Richard Lipton said that the mainmessage from the study was that migraine patients and their doctors should beparticularly attentive to identifying and managing cardiovascular risk factorssuch as HBP, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes.

Published: 15 Mar 2010