- Individuals reporting migraine with visual aura had a 30% higher risk of developing Afib than counterparts who did not experience any headaches.
Why this matters
- Migraine is associated with elevated stroke risk, although specific mechanisms are still being elucidated.
- Cohort distribution:
- 3.6% migraine with visual aura;
- 9.1% migraine without visual aura;
- 8.5% nonmigraine headache;
- 78.8% no headache.
- Over 20 years, incident Afib occurred in 15% of individuals with migraine and 17% of individuals without headache.
- In adjusted analysis, migraine with visual aura carried elevated Afib risk:
- Compared with no headache (HR, 1.30; P=.02);
- Compared with migraine without visual aura (HR, 1.39; P=.0084).
- Migraine without aura was not associated with elevated Afib risk compared with no headache.
- In an editorial, Dr. Sebastian Fridman and Dr. Luciano A. Sposato write, “More research is needed to confirm their [the] results and to better understand how MVA, atrial fibrillation, and ischemic stroke interact with each other… a randomized trial of prolonged cardiac monitoring in selected patients with MVA may shed light on this matter.”
- Longitudinal, community-based cohort study of 11,939 participants initially aged 45-64 in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study who did not have Afib and had not experienced stroke.
- Main outcome: incident Afib.
- Funding: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; American Heart Association.
- Potential unmeasured confounders (e.g., patent foramen ovale, migraine medications).
- Some cases of migraine and of paroxysmal Afib may have been missed.