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Migraine Associated With Cardiovascular Events, Risk

Migraine with and without aura associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Migraines -- both with and without aura -- are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular events and risk factors for cardiovascular disease, according to research published online Feb. 10 in Neurology.

Marcelo E. Bigal, M.D., of the Merck Research Laboratories in Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues analyzed survey data from 6,102 individuals with migraines participating in the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention study, and 5,243 controls.

The researchers found that subjects with migraines were more likely to have diagnosed diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol (odds ratio for each, 1.4). Migraines with and without aura were associated with all of these conditions. Compared to controls, Framingham scores were higher for all individuals with migraine, as well as the aura and no-aura subgroups. After adjusting for a variety of factors, including triptan use and cardiovascular risk factors, overall migraine was associated with myocardial infarction (odds ratio, 2.2), stroke (odds ratio, 1.5), and claudication (odds ratio, 2.69)

The latter finding "clearly indicates that the increased risk of vascular events cannot only be explained by the higher prevalence of risk factors alone and supports the notion that endothelial function outside the brain might also be compromised. This poses a 'chicken-or-the-egg' problem. Is there a direct link between migraine and cardiovascular disease risk factors, or is there a shared pathogenesis, or a shared genetic basis for both?" ask the authors of an accompanying editorial.

The American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention study is co-funded by Merck & Co. The authors reported a variety of relationships with pharmaceutical companies, journals, and associations. The editorial authors also reported financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies.

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