The Nurses Health Study
The new research was part of the Nurses Health Study, which has followed female RNs in the U.S. since 1989. This was a large study of more than 115,000 women that collected information regarding current health every two years for six years. The study, completed through questionnaires, had excellent response rates of up to 90 percent. The health status of the women was followed for more than 20 years in all.
The study reported an overall prevalence of 18 percent of women having migraines. The study also found that women who experience migraines were also more likely to have a stroke or heart attack.
It’s worth noting that the women who reported having a migraine diagnosis also had other factors that upped their risk of cardiovascular disease, like high body-mass index, a history of hypertension, and smoking to name a few.
The study also had several limitations, including the fact that migraine diagnoses was self-reported, which could lead to misclassification of migraine.*
- Migraine, Migraine Features and Cardiovascular Disease. Headache. 2010 June 1; 50(6): 1031–1040. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4610.2009.01609.x. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2891199/