Migraines: Heart attack and stroke risk increased

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Migraines: Heart attack and stroke risk increased: According to a study by American doctors, migraine patients are at greater risk for diseases of the vessels and the heart.

The researchers led by Professor Richard B. Lipton, director of the Department of Aging and Dementia at Einstein College of Medecine in New York, have now published their study in the journal "Neurology" of the American Academy of Neurology.

They had examined a total of 6102 migraine patients and a control group with 5243 people. They found that the risk of heart attack doubled from two to four percent. In migraine sufferers who still describe the occurrence of a so-called aura in their headache attacks, the possibility of a stroke should increase by 60 percent. The possible diseases of high blood pressure, diabetes and an elevated cholesterol level increase with a probability of 50 percent.

About 10 percent of the population suffer from migraines - women three times more often than men. Migraines have long been thought to be a disorder of the widening and constriction of the vessels in the head. Many people complain of seizures after eating certain foods. As the number of migraine sufferers has increased over the past few decades, connections to our lifestyle and the environment are being established.

If "normal" pain and anti-inflammatory agents do not help, so-called triptans are often used in migraine patients in acute cases. The triptans constrict the blood vessels in the brain and also inhibit inflammation and pain reactions. Here, the researchers now want to carry out further investigations into whether therapies for migraines will also lower the risk of diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

In practice, this means for medical professionals that migraines should no longer be seen as a restrictive pain attack, but rather as a disease. In the case of migraine patients, the vascular system and the heart must also be examined and checked in the future. (Thorsten Fischer, naturopath osteopath, 02/10/2010)

For further reading:

Study by researchers in "Neurology"
High blood pressure (hypertension)

Author and source information

Video: Dr. Chris Diener on the Link Between Migraine and Stroke Risk


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