Anyone who suffers from severe headaches will know how debilitating they feel.
If you experience them regularly, they’ve probably become a normal part of your life. But, having migraines could be a sign of a bigger health issue.
One study found that those who experience migraines regularly could be at an increased risk of developing an ischaemic stroke.
According to the NHS, the most common type of stroke occurs when a blood clot stops blood and oxygen from going to the brain. Atherosclerosis refers to when the arteries become narrow or clogged up by tiny fatty deposits which is how clots are formed.
The study was led by Cecilia Hvitfeldt Fuglsang of Aarhus University in Denmark and was published in journal PLOS Medicine. Though the study found that both women and men who suffer from migraines were at risk, women were more at danger of heart attack or hemorrhagic stroke, which is also known as a cerebral haemorrhages .
This haemorrhage takes place when a blood vessel inside the skull shatters and bleeds into the brain. One of the main causes is high blood pressure.
The research team analysed medical records across Denmark between 1996 and 2018 of people aged 18 to 60. 79,680 women and 40,757 men were found to be diagnosed with migraines, the team examined their risk of heart attack and different variations of stroke before turning 60.
Those women and men were compared to people who did not experience migraines. The results found that women and men who had migraines both had a “similarly increased risk of ischaemic stroke”.
“Migraine was associated with a similarly increased risk of ischaemic stroke among young men and women. However, migraine may be associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction and haemorrhagic stroke only among women,” Fuglsang said.
It’s important to look out for people who have a higher risk of heart attack and stroke so that they can look for preventative steps, the team said.