Recent research has shown that women are more likely to be affected by migraines than men up to four times. Scientists have not discovered the reason yet, but they are trying to find a way to treat them.
What is concerning is that women who suffer from migraines are vulnerable to heart conditions, such as strokes and heart attacks. Plus, these conditions have a higher risk of causing death compared with women who do not usually suffer from migraines.
During the Nurses’ Health Study II, 115 women between 25 and 42 years old were analyzed by researchers for 22 years to determine whether they had any heart problems.
After the study, scientists established that around 15% of the women had migraines and 50% out of them were more vulnerable to a heart condition compared to women who did not experience any migraines. In other words, these findings proved that migraines might lead to severe consequences related to heart diseases.
However, the study did not find the exact link between migraines and heart conditions, only that this situation might be related to problems in the blood vessels, inflammation or genetics. In addition to this, another study provided scientists with information regarding the connection between migraines and hormones because migraines are most common in the two days before women’s period.
It is important to mention that the study involved only 223 women who did not experience migraines and 114 women who suffered from them. To analyze their health, scientists kept daily headache diaries, recorded their migraine history and collected daily hormone information from urine samples during an entire menstrual cycle, one cycle each year, during 10 years.
In the end, they established that women who suffered from migraines had a higher drop off in their estrogen levels the days leading to their period compared to women who did not suffer from migraines. According to Dr. Nanette Santoro of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the estrogen fluctuation might only be one cause of migraines but not the primary one.
Even if there is no cure for migraines yet, just medications to prevent them or painkillers, scientists hope that they will better understand them in the future and that their work will pay off.