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Migraines 'pose higher stroke risk'

Migraines 'pose higher stroke risk'
3rd November 2009

Scientists have linked migraines to an increased risk of stroke.

Markus Schurks, the lead author of the Harvard Medical School study which was published in the British Medical Journal, asserted that migraines which are accompanied by an aura can double the chances of a stroke, with women more at risk than men.

Factors that have also been linked to a higher chance of stroke and migraines include being of a younger age, smoking and the use of orally-taken contraceptive pills containing the oestrogen hormone.

Mr Schurks and his team underlined that around one in five people can suffer from migraines, while a third of these can have an aura prior to their extreme headache.

The team added: "Young women who have migraine with aura should be strongly advised to stop smoking, and methods of birth control other than oral contraceptives may be considered."

According to leading charity Migraine Action, the condition is the most common neurological disorder and affects over six million people in the UK, making it more prevalent than epilepsy, asthma and diabetes combined.

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