Findings published in the online edition of Neurology®, July 22 issue, report that older migraine sufferers who also smoke may be a greater risk of stroke. The study, authored by Teshamae Monteith, MD, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, additionally references earlier research finding that women younger than 45 who experience migraine with aura are also at increased risk of stroke. In the current study conducted by a team from both the University of Miami and Columbia University, 1,292 migraine sufferers with an average age of 68 were tracked for an average of 11 years to see who developed heart attacks or stroke. Of those, 187 had migraine without aura and 75 had migraine with aura. A total of 294 strokes, heart attacks and deaths were recorded during the study period.
Lead author Monteith noted that “Statistically, we could not rule out the possibility that the relationship between migraine and stroke in smokers was due to chance, however, we believe the association is consistent with other studies.” She added that the findings provide additional support for encouraging smoking cessation among people who experience migraine. Read more about the findings here. The journal abstract may be read here.