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Do My Migraines Put Me at Risk for Vascular Disease?

Anyone who suffers from migraines knows that to describe them as painful is a gross understatement. Migraine symptoms can include a pounding headache, nausea, vomiting, and light sensitivity. A migraine can take you out and steal an entire day. Or more.

Migraines are bad enough, but recent studies have now linked them to an increased risk of vascular disease in women.

According to the Nurses’ Health Study II out of Berlin, Germany, women with migraines have a 50% increased risk of major vascular disease.

As well as being associated with an increased risk of major cardiovascular disease, migraines were also associated with an increased risk for each of individual components of vascular disease.

Of the 17,531 women with migraines, aged 24 to 42 years, 39% had an increased risk of heart attack, a 62% increased risk of stroke, a 73% increased risk of angina or need coronary revascularization and a 37% increased risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, compared with the 98,010 women who did not suffer from migraines.

The researchers reported that this increased risk was still present after taking into account traditional vascular risk factors such as older age, smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol and higher than ideal BMI (body mass index), which were more prevalent among women with than without migraines.

But does a woman who suffers from migraines have an increased risk of developing other vascular issues, like peripheral artery disease (PAD)?

Thankfully, NO.

There is no substantial link between migraines and vascular issues that affect the extremities such as PAD, a vascular condition treated at Lam Vascular Associates. The link was only proven with cardiovascular conditions.

So, that is good news! But to be safe, if you experience frequent migraines, talk to Dr. Lam about your risk.


The information contained in this article is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice. Patient results will vary based on risk factors, age, disease and medical history and are not guaranteed in any way.

The information contained in this website is neither intended to dictate what constitutes reasonable, appropriate or best care for any given health issue, nor is it intended to be used as a substitute for the independent judgment of a physician for any given health issue. Patient results will vary based on risk factors, age, disease and medical history. Please seek physician's advice. Like any procedure, it may come with benefits, risks or side effects associated. Click here for additional information.

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