Context: Migraine is a kind of primary headache that affects 10% to 20% of people worldwide. Recent studies have shown that migraines can be involved in strokes incidences, especially ischemic strokes.Hence, the current study aimed to review evidence in relation to migraine and risk of stroke.
Evidence Acquisition: A literature search was done for related articles dated between 1993 and 2013 on PubMed, Science Direct, Embase, Web of Science and Scopus for both English and non-English language articles by entering “migraine”, “migraine with aura”, “headache” and “ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke” as keywords.
Results: In most evaluated studies, there was a positive association between migraine with aura (MA) and strokes incidences, especially ischemic strokes. Moreover, patients with high frequency of migraine attacks had greater odds of having a stroke compared with those who had low frequency of migraine attacks. Also, the association between migraine and stroke was more significant in subjects under 45 years old. Some migraine symptoms such as vomiting and nausea had a protective role in the development of ischemic strokes.
Conclusions: Migraine, especially MA, is a risk factor for incidences of strokes, especially ischemic strokes. However, due to conflicting results on the association between different types of migraine and stroke, more studies are needed in this field.