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Migraine Frequency could increase your risk for a stroke or heart attack

Posted Jun 27 2009 12:00am

Migraine Frequency could increase your risk for a stroke or heart attack. Painful headaches that make you see bright lights could increase your risk of heart disease, especially in women.
Women who experience the sensation known as an aura before a migraine headache at least once a week seem to be four times more likely to have a stroke.

Those suffering the headaches once a month showed double the risk of a heart attack.
Women who had migraine with aura at least once a week were four times more likely to have a stroke as women who do not have migraines, while women who had migraines with aura less than once a month were twice as likely to have a heart attack and almost twice as likely to have had heart procedures such as bypass surgery.

Researchers suspect that over years of repeated migraines, the inflammation from Substance P and CGRP may weaken blood vessels, not only in the head but throughout the body. This damage may raise the risk of stroke or heart attack. During a stroke, the vessels that supply the brain rupture or become blocked; during a heart attack the same thing happens to the vessels around the heart.

A new approach to treating heart attacks seems promising.
Research suggest that angioplasty within six hours after taking clot-busting drugs can reduce further risks.
Patients who received the procedure to open blocked arteries within that time reported fewer second heart attacks and reduced chest pain compared to those who had the procedure only after drugs were unsuccessful. The study showed a 36-percent reduction in life-threatening complications.

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