Migraine and hot flashes may increase risk of heart disease and stroke in young women

Specifically, research shows that women with migraine and persistent vasomotor symptoms were 1.5 times more likely to have heart disease and 1.7 times more likely to have a stroke compared to women without both symptoms.

In contrast, women with a history of migraine or persistent hot flashes over time did not face a significantly increased risk of heart disease outside of the effect of traditional risk factors such as tobacco use and lipid levels, blood pressure and fasting glucose.

“This study highlights the importance of considering female-dominant or female-specific factors, such as a history of migraine and persistent vasomotor symptoms, when assessing cardiovascular risk in women.” said Dr. Stephanie Faubion, medical director of The Menopause Society.

“There is a critical need to further refine existing cardiovascular disease risk prediction models to more accurately identify women at future risk. In the meantime, optimizing risk factors is important for women with both conditions.” , he added.

Nearly 2,000 women participated in the study that began data collection between the ages of 18 and 30 until approximately age 61.

The results are notable because migraines and hot flashes are so common. Hot flashes are estimated to affect nearly 80 percent of women transitioning through menopause, although these symptoms can vary greatly in severity, frequency, age of onset, and accompanying symptoms.

Migraines are particularly common in women of late reproductive age, affecting approximately 17.5 percent of women.

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