Icelandic Study Links Migraine with Heart Attacks Skip to content

Icelandic Study Links Migraine with Heart Attacks

People who suffer from a specific kind of migraine are at risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases, according to the results of an Icelandic study which was published on the website of the British Medical Journal yesterday.

The photo is not related to the story. By Páll Stefánsson.

People who suffer from migraine with aura, where the headaches are followed by visual disturbance or perception disorder, are in the risk group. However, people who suffer from migraine without aura are not at an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases, Fréttabladid reports.

Lárus Steinthór Gudmundsson, epidemiologist and doctoral student at the University of Iceland, who led the research, said indications of this connection could be found in older studies but this is the first time that migraine with and without aura could be defined. The study can therefore be considered a milestone, he said.

Gudmundsson said the next step is to answer the question of what causes the connection. “We have yet to answer the question on whether medical treatment which decreases fits of migraine with aura also reduces the likelihood of cardiac arrest and cardiac diseases.”

The study was conducted on behalf of the Icelandic Heart Association in cooperation with the University of Iceland, the National Institute of Aging and Uniformed Services University of Heath Sciences in the US.

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