Migraines, Heart Disease & Sleep Apnea

I was going through the NY Time's excellent Patient Voices blog and multimedia piece on migraine (see my comments #30, and #584), and was reminded that people who have migraines are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease later in life. In this 2006 study from JAMA, women who have classic migraines had significantly higher risks for major cardiovascular disease, ischemic stroke, heart attack, coronary revascularization, angina, and ischemic cardiovascular disease death. 

This is not too surprising since most migraineurs have upper airway resistance syndrome or obstructive sleep apnea, and we know that obstructive sleep apnea can significantly increase your chances of suffering from heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.

If you have migraines, does your mother or father snore or have cardiovascular disease?

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3 thoughts on “Migraines, Heart Disease & Sleep Apnea

  1. I am interested in learning more about the characteristics of headaches/migraines related to UARS and OAS.  Are certain patterns, such as a headache upon arising, more likely to be correlated to sleep breathing disorders, or are migraines of all types correlated?

  2. Sleep apnea patients are known to have the typical morning headaches upon awakening. It can be anything form sinus pain and pressure to throbbing, pounding headache, with nausea or light/sound sensitivity. Come to think of it, it link of sounds like a hangover, right? Alcohol relaxes your muscles, causing more frequent obstructions during deep sleep. 

    UARS patients don't have the classic sleep apnea headaches but are more prone to the effects of muscle tension, TMJ, and pain.

  3. I have UARS and frequent migraines.  I've noticed that changes in the barometric pressure are a major trigger for my migraines.  Does barometric pressure effect UARS?