A new study shows that women diagnosed with migraine are prone to contracting heart disease such as strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular issues. The results concluded that headaches can lead to a 50% higher chance of heart disease in the following years.
It is yet unknown if curing a migraine will reduce the connected health risks. However, scientists believe that this type of headaches can by themselves create a higher occurrence of physiological issues later in life.
The study was conducted by a team of US and German scientists, who focused on the relation between migraines, heart disease and mortality. The researchers used data collected from almost 116,000 women with ages between 25 and 42.
All the women in the study were not previously diagnosed with angina or other heart diseases.
The scientists looked at all health issues experienced by these women over a period of 20 years.
Out of the total number of females, 223 of them died of heart disease and 1,329 cardiovascular events were registered during these two decades.
Another fact revealed by the analysis is that women with migraines had a greater risk for major cardiovascular events that led to mortality.
The authors of the study stress the idea that the high prevalence of headaches in the general population must be considered to be a sufficient reason to understand the factors involved in this affection and to prevent further complications or generalizations of the symptoms.
Migraine is a type of powerful headache which is felt like a heavy pulsing of the brain. It often combines with nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and sometimes vomiting.
Scientists were aware of the connection between migraines and strokes, but this updated research brings more information on various heart diseases. The results show that doctors can take headaches as indicators of severe health conditions. Their presence may be a reason to perform further investigations and even prescribe an urgent surgery in some cases.
However, the relation found between migraines, and cardiovascular risk is not as high as the one between the latter and smoking, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. The study did not show any causal relation between migraines and heart disease.
Migraines could thus be just symptoms of a general health condition, marking the risk for cardiovascular incidents or the negative evolution of an already existing disease.
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