If you are a middle-aged or a senior woman who experiences migraines with auras (flashing lights or an aroma that indicates an episode is imminent), your risk of heart disease or stroke is higher than for women who don’t get migraines. A new study indicates that frequent migraines (more than once a month) may be a risk factor for these medical conditions.
The study, conducted by Dr. Tobias Kurth, of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, followed 27,798 female health professionals ages 45 and older for 12 years. Women who had migraines with auras once a week were four times more likely to have had a stroke during the time they participated in the study than women who didn’t have frequent migraines. Women who had migraines less than once a month were twice as likely to have had a stroke than women who don’t get migraine headaches.