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Migraine, strokes, heart attacks, hypertension, poor circulation, diabetes, and high cholesterol are linked

Posted Feb 23 2010 4:46am

A recent study by Dr. Bigal and his colleagues just published in Neurology compared more than 6,000 migraine sufferers with over 5,000 matched control subjects without migraines.   They discovered that people with migraine with aura and to a lesser extent those with migraine without aura are significantly more likely to have strokes, heart attacks, hypertension, poor circulation, diabetes, and high cholesterol.  This clearly does not mean that migraine causes all these diseases, but only that if you have one you are more likely to have the other.  It is important to recognize this association in migraine sufferers in order to regularly screen them for these conditions.  We know that controlling diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol can prevent strokes, heart attacks and poor circulation in extremities.  We also recommend that women who have migraine with aura should not take estrogen-based oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy since estrogen in these women also increases the risk of strokes.  All migraine suffererss (and everyone else) should not smoke and exercise regularly, which also reduces the risk of the conditions mentioned above.

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