Chronic Migraine Headaches Might Foreshadow Future Heart AttacksA recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine followed 20,084 men between the ages of 40 and 84 whom did not have preexisting heart disease for twenty years and found that those who suffered from migraine headaches were 24 percent more likely to develop heart disease and 42 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who did not. It is also notable that additional studies confirm the same correlation of migraine headaches and heart disease between women and men alike.
Of the entire pool of men 7.2 percent claimed to have suffered from migraine headaches in the first five years of the study. "Over the subsequent 15.7 years of follow-up, there were 2,236 first occurrences of major heart disease events -- nonfatal ischemic stroke, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or death from ischemic cardiovascular disease. There were 2,257 coronary revascularizations, and 2,625 angina cases reported." Of these events there was a strong statistical correlation with those who had identified experiencing migraine headaches in the past.
Study Controls & Possible CausationConsidering this is a correlation one could look into other factors that might identify future heart disease such as typical indicators for risk such as elevated BMI, RLS, genetics, and others. The study did adjust for hypertension, smoking, and aspirin usage so the case for chronic migraine headaches as a precursor for heart problems can be made relevant.
However, it is quite possible that elevated BMI as opposed to elevated hypertension, contributes to chonic migraines which then in turn elevate risk factors for heart attacks earlier in life rather than later; this however we do not know and is only my personal speculation. If you suffer from chronic migraine headaches maybe you should give some serious thought into talking to your doctor about potential heart attack risks you may have. Learn about the leading causes of hypertension and start from there; it just may help.
Med Page Today - http://www.medpagetoday.com/Neurology/Migraines/5492
Archives of Internal Medicine, April 2007 - http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/167/8/795