If you’ve ever experienced a migraine, you know it’s a miserable feeling. Your head is pounding, you can’t bear to open your eyes as they are too sensitive, and you may even feel nauseous. You’re bound to a dark room and pray that it passes quickly.
If migraines are a frequent occurrence for you, then you may want to pay extra attention to your heart. Migraine sufferers are known to have a higher risk of heart troubles including blood clots, stroke, heart attack, and irregular heart rate.
The researchers note that migraines should be considered a potential risk factor for heart-related troubles.
Previous studies explored the connection between migraines and strokes and heart attacks in women, but this is the first study to explore the link between migraines and other heart-related problems.
For the study, the researchers looked at both people who suffer from migraines and those who do not. They wanted to determine any possible link between migraines and heart troubles like blood clots, strokes, heart attack, peripheral artery disease, and irregular heart rate.
The researchers looked at patient data over the course of 19 years. They compared data from over 51,000 migraine sufferers to over 510,000 migraine-free persons.
Through data analysis, the researchers determined a positive association with heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and irregular heart rates. The risk for stroke was highest within the first year of migraine diagnosis of patients with migraines with aura.
A possible explanation of why migraines may cause a higher risk for heart troubles is because many migraine sufferers use anti-inflammatory medications, which is known to increase the risk of heart problems.
Co-author Dr. Kasper Adelborg also suggests that migraine patients are at a higher risk of blood clots because they aren’t given anticoagulant treatments.
Although no definitive conclusions can be made, as this was an observational study, it may be wise for migraine sufferers to pay closer attention to their heart health and take the necessary steps to reduce their risk of any possible heart problems in the future.
Also read: Essential oils for migraines and headaches