Stroke and migraine are issues that tend to affect different demographics. Stroke tends to be more common among older men while migraines are more prevalent among young women. However, the past few decades of research finds that the two may be connected.

A study published in the British Medical Journal, in recent years, provides more evidence to this connection. Researchers examined the medical data of 116,000 women and compared the rate of stroke among women who did not have migraines and women who did have migraines. They found that women with migraines had a 62% higher risk of stroke. This association remained after accounting for other risk factors such as smoking or age.

This means that, for women with migraines, the risk for stroke should not be overlooked. Women should be made aware of the increased risk. As of now, how this relationship between stroke and migraine works is not fully understood.


Tobias Kurth, M.D., director, Institute of Public Health, Charite-Universitatsmedizin, Berlin, Germany; Rebecca Burch, M.D., instructor, neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston; May 31, 2016, BMJ

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