Migraine, characterized by persistent, throbbing headaches, has been identified as a risk factor for stroke; now a new study shows that migraine might also be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mortality.
Besides headaches, some migraine sufferers also experience a selection of symptoms that occurs just before an attack. These include seeing flashing lights, experiencing blind spots, confusion, and a loss of balance that are together referred to as an ‘aura’. Experts now believe that migraine associated with an aura can lead to an increased risk of stroke.
Although migraine is known to have a vascular component, it is not understood exactly why there is a link between migraine, stroke and cardiovascular diseases.
New research from a study conducted over a period of over two decades from 1989 to 2011 on more than 17,000 individuals concluded that migraine needs to be considered an important risk marker for cardiovascular disease, at least in women as they tend to be affected more than men by a factor of three or four times.