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Old 11-13-2009, 06:13 PM   #1
Jae Onasi
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Article: Migraine with Aura Doubles Stroke Risk

You'll need a Medscape account to see the whole article, but the results were quite interesting.

As a note--I've been signed up on Medscape for about 10 years now, and I've never once received spam. They don't sell your email to third parties, and you can sign up for various newsletters from them depending on your particular interests. I'm signed up on the ophthalmology, general medicine, and women's medicine lists, for instance. I don't believe you have to be a medical professional to sign up.

The take home message: if you get migraines with aura, you need to minimize controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. Smokers had a NINE times higher risk for stroke than non-smokers.

November 6, 2009 Migraine with aura (but not migraine without aura) is associated with a 2-fold increased risk for ischemic stroke, according to a new meta-analysis reported in the October 28 Online First issue of the BMJ. The risk was highest among young women with migraine with aura who smoke and use estrogen-containing contraceptives.

Lead author Markus Schϋrks, MD, and colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, from migraine expert Dr. Tobias Kurth's group at INSERM in Paris, France, and at Merck Research Laboratories, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, analyzed 25 case-control and cohort studies of association between any migraine type and cardiovascular disease. They found a significant association between any migraine and ischemic stroke risk, but this was because of a higher risk among people who had migraine with aura (relative risk [RR], 2.16). Risk was not elevated in migraine without aura.

The increase in stroke risk was also greater in women vs men (RR, 2.08 vs 1.37), in migraine patients younger than 45 years (RR, 2.65 vs > 45 years), in smokers (RR, 9.03 vs nonsmokers) and in women currently using oral contraceptives (RR, 7.02 vs nonusers).
Dr. Loder, who wrote an editorial to the article, wanted to put the article in perspective. The risk of stroke with migraine is low to begin with, and doubling that risk should not cause panic.

Nevertheless, this was an interesting article. Since many suffer from migraines, or know people who suffer from migraines, I thought it might be a good idea to bring it up here.

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