Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Migraine v death.

Two studies just published have looked at the link between migraines and the risk of death, and the doctors are debating whether they should tell patients about this.

Larus S Gudmunsson found a 15% increased risk of death from all causes for those suffering from migraines compared to those without. Migraine with aura raised this to 21%.

According to the authors, a potential explanation is that migraine might represent a systemic disorder of the vasculature, with heightened vascular reactivity even in early adulthood.

In a separate study, Dr Tobias Kurth found an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke of 125% in women with active migraine with aura.

According to Gudmunssen “Migraine with aura is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular and all cause mortality in men and women but weaker than major established risk factors, such as cigarette smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure.” The focus of treatment is this trio, as these are modifiable.


August 25, 2010 - Posted by | CVD - cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, Gender, High blood pressure, Larus S Gudmunsson, Migraine, Smoking, Stroke, Success, Tobias Kurth


  1. Do you know if the risk is less for people who have their migraine illness controlled by avoiding triggers and/or taking a prevetative drug?

    Comment by renaissanceguy | August 27, 2010 | Reply

    • The research doesn’t say. But that is the approach I would take – work on the factors within my control.

      Comment by teammccallum | August 27, 2010 | Reply

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