What are the risk factors for stroke in patients with migraine headache?

Updated: Oct 21, 2019
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

Migraine and ischemic strokes reportedly occur in 1.4-3.3 per 100,000 population and account for 0.8% of total strokes. Milhaud et al showed that in young patients (< 45 y) with active migraine who had suffered ischemic stroke, risk factors such as patent foramen ovale, female gender, and oral contraceptive use were much more likely to be present; posterior circulation stroke was characteristic. Surprisingly, older patients characteristically lacked vascular risk factors (ie, previous hypertension, ischemic heart disease, cigarette smoking). [61]

Even in patients older than 45 years, women with migraine are more likely to suffer from ischemic stroke.


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