Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Migraine raises risk of most common form of stroke

Women more at risk than men; risk particularly high in those with visual symptoms

Pooling results from 21 studies, involving 622,381 men and women, researchers at Johns Hopkins have affirmed that migraine headaches are associated with more than twofold higher chances of the most common kind of stroke: those occurring when blood supply to the brain is suddenly cut off by the buildup of plaque or a blood clot.

The risk for those with migraines is 2.3 times those without, according to calculations from the Johns Hopkins team, to be presented Nov. 16 at the American Heart Association's (AHA) annual Scientific Sessions in Orlando. For those who experience aura, the sighting of flashing lights, zigzag lines and blurred side vision along with migraines, the risk of so-called ischemic stroke is 2.5 times higher, and in women, 2.9 times as high.

Study participants, mostly in North America and Europe, were between the ages 18 and 70, and none had suffered a stroke prior to enrollment.

Senior study investigator and cardiologist Saman Nazarian, M.D., says the team's latest analysis, believed to be the largest study of its kind on the topic, reinforces the relationship between migraine and stroke while correcting some discrepancies in previous analyses. For examples, a smaller combination study in 2005 by researchers in Montreal showed a bare doubling of risk, yet mixed together different mathematical measures of risk, while the Hopkins study kept them separate, pooling together only like measures. As well, another half dozen recent and smaller studies from Harvard University yielded mixed results, some showing a link between migraines and ischemic stroke, while one did not show a tie-in.

Nazarian says that while nearly 1,800 articles have been written about the relationship between migraine and ischemic stroke, the Hopkins review was more selective, combining only studies with similar designs and similar groups of people, and more comprehensive, including analysis of unpublished data.

"Identifying people at highest risk is crucial to preventing disabling strokes," says Nazarian, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart and Vascular Institute. "Based on this data, physicians should consider addressing stroke risk factors in patients with a history or signs of light flashes and blurry vision associated with severe headaches."

Prevention and treatment options for migraine, he says, range from smoking cessation and taking anti-blood pressure or blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin. In women with migraines, stopping use of oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy may be recommended.

Such widespread use of hormone-controlling drugs is what Nazarian says may explain why women with migraines have such high risk of ischemic stroke. Contraceptives and other estrogen therapies are both known to contribute to long-term risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and stroke, such as high blood pressure and increased reactivity by clot-forming blood platelets.

Nazarian says the researchers' next steps are to evaluate if preventive therapies, especially aspirin, offset the risk of ischemic stroke in people with migraines.

Funding support for the study, performed entirely at Hopkins, was provided by the National Institutes of Health Clinical Research Scholars Program.

Other researchers involved in this study were Susan Kahn, M.D., M.Sc.; Miranda Jones, M.P.H.; Monisha Jayakumar, M.P.H.; and Deepan Dalal, M.P.H. The lead study investigator was June Spector, M.D., M.P.H., a former postdoctoral research fellow at Hopkins, now in Seattle.

(Presentation title: Migraine headache and the risk of ischemic stroke, a systemic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.)

For additional information, go to:

David March | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>