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Keywords:

  • migraine;
  • General Practice Research Database;
  • epidemiology;
  • stroke;
  • triptan

Background.— Previous observational studies have reported a higher risk of stroke in migraine patients.

Objective.— We aimed to estimate the risk of stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), or death in migraineurs in the UK.

Method.— We conducted a population-based follow-up study within the General Practice Research Database from 1994 to 2001.

Results.— The relative risk (RR) of stroke in migraineurs compared with non-migraineurs was 2.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.7-2.9). It was highest for patients with a migraine diagnosis recorded within 30 days prior to a stroke (odds ratio 11.1, 95% CI 5.69-21.5). The RR of TIA in migraineurs compared with non-migraineurs was 2.4 (95% CI 1.8-3.3), the mortality of migraineurs was slightly decreased.

Conclusion.— In our study, the RR of developing a stroke or a TIA was doubled in migraineurs as compared with non-migraineurs, while that for death was close to unity.