Ocular Migraines and Heart Disease

Migraines are a condition suffered by around 39 million people in the United States, and studies suggest that migraines are linked to heart disease; specifically ocular migraines. Although migraines are a neurological disorder, evidence suggests there is a higher risk of stroke and heart attack in patients who suffer from ocular migraines.

Ocular migraines are migraine headaches which are accompanied by what is known as “migraine aura.” This subtype of migraine involves visual abnormalities (and sometimes sensory, motor, or verbal abnormalities, as well) that occur typically just before a migraine sets in, or during the attack. Migraine aura affects about 20% of migraine sufferers. These auras typically last around 30 minutes or less, as opposed to the actual migraine pain which can last anywhere from hours to days.

Ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke are the two types of stroke most associated with migraines. Women are far more likely to suffer from migraines than men, and women who experience migraine aura are 2 to 3 times more likely to have a stroke than women who do not. They are also more likely to experience a stroke than men who suffer from migraine aura.

Patients who experience migraines are also about 2 times more likely to suffer from heart attacks or heart rhythm disorders. Those who have traditional risk factors for stroke or heart attack, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, in addition to migraines, showcase the strongest association between migraines and heart disease.

Cardiac PET Imaging – San Francisco

As we know, cardiac PET scan protocol calls for the use of nuclear imaging to diagnose and better treat patients with heart disease. Chronic migraines with aura symptoms may not necessarily prove an individual has or will develop heart disease, but it is wise to be aware of the correlation between these two conditions.

When treating patients, physicians should understand the value in PET imaging for uncovering unexpected cardiac issues. This is why Cardiac Imaging, Inc. offers versatile mobile units and 3D PET scans in San Francisco and across the country. Contact us today to learn more about our services.