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combining only studies with similar designs and similar groups of people, and more comprehensive, including analysis of unpublished data.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: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heart_vascular_institute/experts/physician
David March | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > Aspirin > Migraine headache > Oral contraceptives > anti-blood pressure > blood pressure > blood-thinning medications > blurry vision > cardiovascular disease > hormone replacement therapy > ischemic stroke > light flashes > migraine > preventive therapies > risk factor > vascular disease
23.03.2017 | Technische Universität München
How prenatal maternal infections may affect genetic factors in Autism spectrum disorder
22.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences