An interesting new correlation study in BMJ has found that women are at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, including sudden death, if they are suffering from chronic migraines.
The researches demonstrated that those women experiencing migraines had increased incidence of angina, chronic heart failure and heart disease which eventually lead them as a group to be more-likely to be undergo heart related surgery. Common surgeries included artery bypass and grafting, surgeries that were much less common in males and females not experiencing frequent migraines.
The symptoms of migraine, in addition to its excruciating pain, includes ringing in ears and dizziness – both symptoms which additionally lead to increased incidence of hemorrhage and ischemic stroke. For the study data was collected from over 115,000 women between the ages of 25 to 42. None of the women had angina or cardiovascular disease at the beginning of the study.
A close eye was kept on all study participants over a period spanning from 1989 to 2011 for any adverse events such as sudden death, stroke or other cardiovascular activities. The correlation was drawn from extensive data analysis by the researchers, who found that those women experiencing frequent, severe, often debilitating headaches were most at risk for the prior mentioned events.
In conclusion, editorialists believe that migraine should be added to the list of early life medical symptoms that should be kept under close examination by healthcare professionals. This is particularly the case for females. Further research may be needed to see whether migraine is in fact an increased risk factor for cardiovascular disease in women, although from these results and the large cohort size, it seems likely.
Study Source: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i2610