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Migraine Sufferers Report More Angina

But study finds no increased heart disease risk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 29, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- People who suffer from migraines or other long-lasting headaches are more likely to have angina, but don't have an increased risk of heart disease, says a study in the Dec. 28 issue of the journal Neurology.

The link between migraine and angina is especially true for migraine sufferers who experience an aura -- spots or lines before their eyes -- around the time a migraine strikes.

"Our findings suggest that the higher prevalence of chest pain, but not coronary diseases, among those with migraines or other severe headaches may be related to something other than heart disease. For example, people with migraines might have greater sensitivity to pain or be more prone to vasospasms," study leader Kathryn M. Rose, a research assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, said in a prepared statement.

"What our work does not say is that people with headaches should ignore chest pain, since that is an important symptom of a number of conditions, including coronary disease," Rose said.

She and her colleagues analyzed data from 12,409 black and white men and women. Overall, women were more likely than men to suffer migraines, and whites had migraines more often than blacks.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about migraines.

SOURCE: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, news release, Dec. 27, 2004
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