The study on migraines and heart disease

Researchers actually used two studies to determine what, if any, connection there was between migraine headaches and heart disease risks. The original study had twenty thousand migraine sufferers participate and fifty five thousand individuals who had no instance of migraines. For the second study, twenty one thousand people with confirmed heart disease participated, and sixty three thousand people who had no diagnosis of heart disease participated.

The researchers from Harvard University and the Broad Institute of MIT were specifically looking for common gene variations that would link the migraines and the heart disease. The researchers considered the common gene links for people who had migraines with aura and the people who had migraines without aura.

What are migraines with aura?

Some people notice other symptoms before they develop a migraine headache. These other symptoms may include a heightened sensitivity to smell, or unusual tastes in their mouths, sensitivity to light, and so on. The people who did not experience aura with their migraine headaches had fewer genetic factors that indicated they had an increased risk of developing heart disease.

The results from researchers

There were not enough common gene factors found between migraine sufferers and heart disease to say that the problem of increased risk for heart disease and migraines are a pre-determined genetic condition. Actually, researchers are trying to determine why people who seem to have no more risk for heart disease than all other people develop a higher risk when they develop conditions of migraine headaches.

The possible causes could be stress related due to the stress the headaches put on the body. The increased risk may be linked to the medication that people take to prevent or treat these severe headaches. Other external factors and lifestyle choices may play a part in the increased risk.

More research is needed

More research is needed in order for scientist to be able to tell people who have migraines exactly why they have an increased risk of heart disease, but the researchers all agree that people who have migraines should follow these guidelines to help reduce their heart disease risks.

  • Do not smoke cigarettes. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your possibility of developing heart disease.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity is a major risk factor for coronary diseases and events.
  • Eat a diet that is lower in saturated fat. Choose healthy protein alternatives like lean meats, fish rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, and chicken, grill, broil, or cook meats in some manner other than frying.
  • Exercise regularly. You should participate in heart healthy exercise like walking at least twenty minutes a day, and five days each week.
  • Eat more whole grain foods because whole grains will help to clean plaque build-up from your arteries
  • Eat lots of vegetables and whenever you can eat your vegetables uncooked. The closer your foods are to their natural state the healthier they will be for you to consume