Migraine increases risk for irregular heartbeat: New researc
Patients who had migraine with aura were at higher risk for incident atrial fibrillation, which could lead to ischemic stroke, according to findings recently published in Neurology.

“Since [atrial fibrillation] is a common source of cardioembolic stroke, the question that begs to be answered is whether the association between migraine with visual aura and cardioembolic stroke may be explained by a higher rate of atrial fibrillation in this subgroup of [a Danish, nationwide, population-based] cohort,” the authors have written.

Researchers analyzed ECGs, discharge codes and death certificate data from 11,939 participants of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study who did not have a prior history of stroke or atrial fibrillation.

They found that over a 20-year follow-up period, 426 patients reported migraines with visual aura, 1,018 reported nonmigraine headache, 1,090 reported migraine without visual aura and 9,405 reported no headache.

Incident atrial fibrillation was noted in 15% of patients with migraine and 17% of patients without headache. After adjusting for age, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, current alcohol use, diabetes, fasting lipid profile, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, race, sex and smoking status, migraine with visual aura was associated with increased risk for atrial fibrillation vs. no headache (HR) and when compared to migraine without visual aura (HR = 1.39).

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Research paper can be read here: http://n.neurology.org/content/early/2018/11/14/WNL.0000000000006650