A new study published in the British Medical Journal found that women between the ages of 20 and 44 who had a history of migraine headaches were three times more likely to suffer a ischemic stroke as were those who did not suffer from migraines. Ischemic strokes are caused by blockage of an artery in the brain.
Study author Dr. C.L. Chang and colleagues at London’s Imperial College School of Medicine suggested that 20-40% of the strokes occurring in young women can be directly linked to a history of migraines. “Twenty to forty percent of strokes in women with migraines seemed to develop directly from a migraine attack,” read the report.
Smoking was the only other risk factor to significantly impact stroke risk. “The data presented here suggest that women who have migraines should be advised strongly not to smoke and that their blood pressure should be carefully monitored and controlled,” concluded researchers.