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Home Industry News Migraines during pregnancy linked to health complications

Migraines during pregnancy linked to health complications

11th March 2009

Women who suffer migraines are at an increased risk of strokes during pregnancy, research suggests.

A report published on bmj.com today claims females who suffer from the condition are at danger of other vascular conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and clots.

Experts claim up to 26 per cent of women of childbearing age and one third of women aged between 35 and 39 suffer from migraine headaches.

The study found women over the age of 40 were 2.4 times more likely to have a diagnosis of migraines than women under-20, while white women were more likely to have a diagnosis of migraines than any other race or ethnicity.

Migraines during pregnancy were linked to a 15-fold increased risk of stroke. They also tripled the risk of blood clots in the veins and doubled the risk of heart disease.

The authors suggest the most logical explanation for the findings lies in the interaction between migraines and the normal physiological changes during pregnancy which put extra stress on the vascular system.

However, regardless of the mechanism, active migraine during pregnancy could be viewed as a potential marker of vascular diseases, especially stroke, they conclude.

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