Migraines are the second biggest factor for heart attack and stroke

Women who suffer migraines with aura (or visual disturbances) may be at higher risk of strokes and heart attack than non-migraines sufferers.

Migraines have been previously linked to heart attacks and strokes but a 15-year study by the American Academy of Neurology of nearly 30,000 women for the first time identified migraines as the second biggest risk factor. High blood pressure is the primary cause.

Study author Dr Tobias Kurth said that after high blood pressure, migraine with aura came ahead of diabetes, smoking, obesity, and family history of early heart disease.

The risk for women who suffer migraines with aura is a whopping three times greater than for those who suffer migraines without the visual disturbance.

Another study undertaken by the group also revealed that women who have migraines with aura and took the contraceptive pill are at greater risk of blood clots. Read our special report: are you on the right pill? or migraines explained for more information.