Healthday reports on a study with the following findings.
Women who suffer from migraines with visual disturbances like flashing lights, called aura, may be at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke," according to a study scheduled to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting.
After high blood pressure, migraine with aura was the strongest predictor for having a heart attack or stroke among these women. The risk was even more pronounced than that associated with diabetes, smoking, obesity and a family history of heart disease, the investigators noted."
"Dr Tobias Kurth, lead author, said it is not yet known if the migraine with aura causes the increased risk or if there is a common factor causing both the migraine and the heart and stroke." Kurth "said it might be that a problem with blood vessels lay behind both, that genetics were involved along with other factors."
A second study, also scheduled to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting, "found that migraine sufferers – and especially those with aura – who use combined hormonal contraceptives are at elevated risk for thrombotic events."
"The risk appears to be highest with newer agents, such as drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol (YAZ, Bayer HealthCare)."