Migraine sufferers have a higher risk for stroke after surgery

In the journals

People who suffer from migraines have increased risks of stroke and hospital readmission within 30 days after having surgery, according to research published online Jan. 10, 2017, by BMJ.

The study included 124,558 patients (45% of whom were men), who had a history of migraines, either with or without aura (a period of symptoms, such as flashes of light or facial tingling, that precedes the migraine). The researchers monitored the condition of all the patients after either inpatient or outpatient surgery. They then looked at how many had strokes and how many were readmitted to the hospital over the following 30 days.

The results showed that patients with migraines were more likely to have a stroke within 30 days compared with patients without migraines. Those who had migraines with aura also had a higher risk for stroke than patients with regular migraines. In addition, the readmission rate was 1.3 times higher among those with migraines of either type.

It is not known why migraines might affect stroke risk during this period, but lead researcher Dr. Timothy Houle of Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital noted that the risk of stroke for migraine sufferers immediately following surgery is quite low. He adds that men who have had migraines consult with their doctors prior to surgery and discuss their migraine medication with their surgical team.