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Women With Migraine Have Higher Risk for Heart Attack, Hemorrhagic Stroke

However, risk for ischemic stroke is similar in men and women with migraine

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 13, 2023 (HealthDay News) — The risk for ischemic stroke in individuals with migraine is similar for men and women, while the risk for myocardial infarction (MI) and hemorrhagic stroke is only higher in women with migraine, according to a study published online June 13 in PLOS Medicine.

Cecilia Hvitfeldt Fuglsang, M.D., from Aarhus University in Denmark, and colleagues examined the impact of migraine on the risk for premature (age 60 years or younger) MI and ischemic/hemorrhagic stroke. The analysis included 179,680 women and 40,757 men with migraine identified through redeemed prescriptions for migraine-specific medication.

The researchers found that the risk difference (RD) of premature MI for those with migraine versus no migraine was 0.3 percent for both women and men (adjusted hazard ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 1.22 [1.14 to 1.31; P < 0.001] and 1.07 [0.97 to 1.17; P = 0.164] for women and men, respectively). For premature ischemic stroke for migraine versus no migraine, the RD was 0.3 percent for women and 0.5 percent for men (adjusted hazard ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 1.21 [1.13 to 1.30; P < 0.001] and 1.23 [1.10 to 1.38; P < 0.001] for women and men, respectively). For premature hemorrhagic stroke for migraine versus no migraine, the RD was 0.1 percent for women and −0.1 percent for men (adjusted hazard ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 1.13 [1.02 to 1.24; P = 0.014] and 0.85 [0.69 to 1.05; P = 0.131] for women and men, respectively).

“Given that migraine is much more prevalent in women, presence of migraine likely represents a greater societal migraine-associated disease burden among women,” the authors write.

One author disclosed holding stock in Novo Nordisk.

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