HealthDay News — Migraine is associated with elevated risks of myocardial infarction, stroke (ischemic and hemorrhagic), venous thromboembolism, and atrial fibrillation or flutter, according to a study published in The BMJ.

Kasper Adelborg, MD, PhD, from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues conducted a nationwide, population-based cohort study to examine the risks of myocardial infarction, stroke, peripheral artery disease, venous thromboembolism, atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter, and heart failure among 51,032 patients with migraine and 510,320 matched controls from the general population.

The researchers found that for the migraine cohort vs the general population, the cumulative incidences per 1000 people were 25 vs 17 for myocardial infarction, 45 vs 25 for ischemic stroke, 11 vs 6 for hemorrhagic stroke, 13 vs 11 for peripheral artery disease, 27 vs 18 for venous thromboembolism, 47 vs 34 for atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter, and 19 vs 18 for heart failure. 

There were positive associations for migraine with myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke, venous thromboembolism, and atrial fibrillation or flutter (adjusted hazard ratios, 1.49, 2.26, 1.94, 1.59, and 1.25, respectively). There was no significant correlation for peripheral artery disease or heart failure. These correlations were stronger during the short term (0 to 1 year) than long term (up to 19 years) after migraine diagnosis, particularly for stroke outcomes.

“Migraine may be an important risk factor for most cardiovascular diseases,” the authors wrote.

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Adelborg K, Szepligeti SK, Holland-Bill L, et al. Migraine and risk of cardiovascular diseases: Danish population based matched cohort study [published online January 31, 2018]. BMJ. doi:10.1136/bmj.k96