A large study collected data on nearly 28,000 women – of those, more than 1,400 suffered from migraines with aura. Following high blood pressure, migraine with aura was the strongest predictor for having a heart attack or stroke among the women. Other risks included diabetes, smoking, obesity, and a family history of heart disease.   Dr. Tobias Kurth, from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Bordeaux and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and lead author said, “we find migraine with aura is a quite strong contributor to major cardiovascular disease. It is one of the top two risk factors.” The researchers added there are several things women can do to reduce the risk – lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, don’t smoke, exercise, and eat healthfully. Kurth noted that while women with migraine with aura may have an increased risk, it does not mean everyone who has migraines with aura will have heart trouble. While the study found a connection between migraines and aura and cardiovascular problems, it did not prove cause-and-effect.     US News and World Report   1/15/13

 

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