Scientists have urged individuals to never ignore a headache or migraine – as it could be one of the first signs of a deadly attack.
Current research suggests that those who smoke, are overweight, have diabetes, or have high blood pressure are particularly at risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as a heart attack or stroke.
But the new British Medical Journal (BMF) study indicates that migraines and severe headaches could also be a risk factor.
It found that people who suffer from migraines were more likely to have a cardiovascular problem compares to those report no headache symptoms. An analysis of existing data shows that 45 in 1,000 migraine sufferers experienced a common form of stroke, compared to just 20 who didn’t.
“Migraines should be considered a potent and persistent risk factor for most cardiovascular diseases in both men and women,” the scientists said.
“Ultimately, it will be important to determine whether prevention strategies in patients with migraine can reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease.
“We now have plenty of evidence that migraine should be taken seriously as a strong cardiovascular risk marker, but action to reduce risk is long overdue.
“Unfortunately, funding for migraine research has been seriously neglected.”