Migraine with and without aura is associated with an increased risk of both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and risk factors for CVD, according to an analysis of data from the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention study.

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Hans-Christoph Diener with the University Duisburg-Essen and Dr. Judith Harrer with the Department of Neurology at Caritas Klinik St.Theresia in Germany agreed with the study authors that the analysis was limited by certain factors, including a lack of in-person assessments and an inability to control for certain risk factors.

Regardless they remarked that certain conclusions could be drawn from the findings. In particular, they noted, these data suggest that the absolute risk of vascular events in patients with migraine is small, and that such patients should be counseled with absolute rates rather than increases in relative risk.

In addition, they wrote, the increased prevalence of CVD risk factors among the patients with migraine in this study undermines the perception that patients with migraine lead relatively healthy lifestyles, while the data as a whole suggest that vascular risk factors in these patients should be assessed and appropriately treated.

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