Migraine, Child Abuse, Heart Disease Link

LOS ANGELES, June 24 (UPI) — Migraine sufferers abused as children may be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Gretchen Tietjen of the University of Toledo College of Medicine in Ohio and colleagues found a linear relationship in migraine sufferers between the risk of cardiovascular disease events — such as stroke, transient ischemic attack and heart attack — and the total number of physical, emotional or sexual abuse incidents experienced during childhood.

“It is clear from this work that early adverse experiences influence a migraine sufferers’ cardiovascular health in adulthood,” Tietjen said in a statement. “Other work has shown a link between childhood maltreatment and migraine and now we know that early abuse puts these adults at a greater risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.”

Tietjen and colleagues at 11 neurology centers in the United States and Canada had 1,300 headache clinic patients diagnosed with migraine complete questionnaires.

The findings were presented at the American Headache Society’s 52nd annual scientific meeting in Los Angeles.

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