Migraines and Your Health

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Story Updated: Jan 17, 2013

It's estimated that more than 37 million Americans suffer from migraines.

Migraines with aura are headaches with some kind of sensory disturbance - usually visual disturbances, like flashing lights. And for women who get these kind of migraines, two new important studies. The first suggests this condition may be strongly linked to heart and blood vessel problems.

The Women's Health Study involved nearly 28-thousand women 1-thousand-435 of them had migraine with aura. During the 15-year study, there were 1-thousand-30 cases of heart attack, stroke or death from a cardiovascular cause. The data showed that after high blood pressure, migraine with aura was the second strongest risk factor for these events. The second study looked at women with migraine who were using hormonal contraceptives and whether they were more prone to blood clots. Of the 145-thousand participants, 2,691 had migraine with aura and 3,437 had migraine without aura.

The results showed that women with migraine with aura were more likely to have blood clot complications such as deep vein thrombosis than women with migraine without aura. This was true with both newer devices like the contraceptive patch and ring-and older contraceptives. So what's a patient to do? Researchers suggest it would be wise to let your doctor know you have migraines before any birth control is prescribed.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with news you can use for healthier living.

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