A new study published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology has revealed that older smokers have an increased risk of stroke. The study investigated the impact of smoking on heart attacks and stroke.
“Our findings may provide more evidence as to why quitting smoking is important for people who experience migraine,” said study author Teshamae Monteith, MD, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Miami and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “While this investigation of migraine and vascular events in older people found that only smokers with migraine have an increased risk of stroke, earlier studies have shown that women younger than 45 who have migraine with aura are also at an increased risk of stroke, whether or not they smoke.”
The research participants consisted of 1,292 people, with an average age of 68, from the Northern Manhattan Study who reported migraine and were followed for an average of 11 years. Of the research subjects 187 had migraine without aura and 75 had migraine with aura. During the study, a total of 294 strokes, heart attacks and deaths occurred.
Migraine sufferers had a 3-fold increased risk of stroke, whereas among nonsmokers, migraine was not associated with a stroke risk. “Statistically, we could not rule out the possibility that the relationship between migraine and stroke in smokers was due to chance, however, we believe the association is consistent with other studies,” Monteith said.