Women with Migraines More Prone to Heart Disease

Women who suffer from migraines may be more likely than other women to develop heart problems, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that women who have migraines were at greater risk of having a heart attack and angina (chest pain), and of needing to undergo heart-related procedures such as coronary artery bypass grafting, compared with women who did not get the severe headaches.


Migraines in women were not only linked with an increased risk of developing heart disease, but they were also associated with a greater chance of dying from heart-related problems than they were in women without migraines, the researchers found.

In the new study, researchers looked at data collected from more than 115,000 female nurses, ages 25 to 42, who were enrolled in a large, ongoing study called the Nurses' Health Study II. About 17,500 of these women (15 percent of them) reported having been diagnosed with migraines.
After tracking the health status of the nurses for more than 20 years, the researchers found that women with migraines were about 50 percent more likely to develop major cardiovascular disease than women who never had migraines.

During the follow-up period, 678 women with migraines had heart attacks, 651 had strokes and 203 had chest pain or needed heart-related procedures. In addition, there were 223 deaths from heart-related causes.



Tobias Kurth and al. Migraine and risk of cardiovascular disease in women: prospective cohort study. BMJ2016; 353:i2610. May 31 2016.