Migraine With Aura Can Double Stroke Risk for Women

Kim Conte
6

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Do you get migraines? If so, I can definitely empathize: They can really be excruciating. Getting migraines is bad enough. But now there's new research showing that for women who suffer migraine headaches with aura AND smoke  AND use oral contraceptives, the risk for stroke may be doubled.

The fact that there is a connection between migraines with aura (or visual disturbance) and stroke is nothing new. Researchers have long known that migraine with aura is associated with a twofold increased risk for stroke compared to people without migraine.

What was unknown, however, is who is most at risk. Women are up to four times more likely than men to get migraines; moreover, one-third of females with migraines also experience aura before or during a migraine.

Now, experts now believe that in addition to being a female experiencing migraines with aura, being under 45, smoking, and using oral contraceptives that contain estrogen are all factors that can increase a person's risk of stroke. 

If you fall into this category, doctors say there is no reason to panic. But modifying the risk factors within your control (smoking and oral contraceptives) is recommended.

Do you get migraines? How do you deal with them?

 

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