Migraine with Aura Represents Significant Risk Factor for Stroke

New data recently presented at the International Headache Congress in Boston reveal that migraine with aura represents an even stronger risk factor for stroke than previously thought. In prior studies showing an association between stroke and migraine with aura, there was a two-fold increase in the relative risk of stroke in those who had migraine with aura.

This new data, derived from large scale analysis of multiple studies, shows that miraine with aura in women is a stronger risk factor for stroke than is diabetes or obesity, and contributes as much risk as does high blood pressure or smoking.

Women with migraine had a higher overall risk of both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke relative to other vascular risk factors, with an overall risk of stroke in women with migraine equalling 4.3/1000. Also, among those with migraine who also had stroke, the size of the tissue involved in the stroke was 3.24 times larger for miraine with aura.

This elevates the importance of controlling stroke risk factors in migraine patients, particularly those with migraine with aura.