Migraine with Aura More Often Associated with Heart Attack or Stroke than Diabetes, Obesity or Smoking
Last updated: September 2023
The American Academy of Neurology released information about a new study this week that addresses the risk of heart attack and stroke for women living with migraine with aura.
While multiple studies have examined the correlation between these conditions and the possible cause and effect relationship, for the first time researchers are putting the risk into stark, somewhat scary context. We all know that conditions like diabetes, obesity, smoking and family history are huge risk factors for heart attack and stroke. But what hasn't been said, until now, is that living with migraine with aura is the second leading risk factor associated with heart attack and stroke, next to high blood pressure.
Although obesity, smoking, diabetes, etc. are undoubtedly important public health priorities, considering the level of focus and resources dedicated to these conditions that are actually less likely than migraine with aura to be associated with heart attack or stroke, it's high time we step up our efforts to educate ourselves and others about this risk and how we can manage our risk factors. Working to reduce your blood pressure, exercising, achieving and/or maintaining a healthy weight and stopping smoking are all important ways to reduce your overall risk of heart attack or stroke.
While this news is undoubtedly scary for any woman living with migraine with aura, the good news is that there is a lot you can change through lifestyle factors to reduce your overall risk for having a heart attack or stroke.
Finally, as a women living with migraine with aura, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is to be sure you always include that condition among your medical history. Your health care providers can't help you mitigate this risk without knowing the full picture of your health history.
Are the family and friends you will be seeing this holiday season understanding about migraine?