[Migraine as a cerebrovascular risk factor]

A B Caminero, M Sánchez Del Río González
Neurología: Publicación Oficial de la Sociedad Española de Neurología 2012, 27 (2): 103-11

INTRODUCTION: Migraine has become an important vascular risk factor during the past few years, along with the presence of white matter and clinically silent ischaemic lesions. Whether these findings contribute to the migraine becoming chronic has been a source of debate. People with chronic migraine also have a less favourable metabolic profile. An exhaustive review of the literature has been made in order to try to clarify the relationship between migraine and vascular risk factors.

DEVELOPMENT: Migraine, particularly with aura and in women < 45 years-old, is associated with an increased risk of cerebral infarction. This risk increases if the patient smokes or uses oral contraceptives. Migraine can also be a direct cause of a stroke, although it is an infrequent complication. Migraine with aura is associated with a risk factor of 12 of having subclinical infarctions in posterior fossa circulation.

CONCLUSIONS: Since migraine is an independent vascular risk factor, a better control of migraine attacks, as well as other possible concomitant vascular risk factors, should decrease the likelihood of a stroke. Overall, the real risk of infarction is low, with 3.8 new cases per 100,000 women and year.

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