Migraine and risk of ischaemic heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

Eur J Neurol. 2015 Jun;22(6):1001-11. doi: 10.1111/ene.12701. Epub 2015 Mar 25.


Background and purpose: Several studies have assessed the risk of ischaemic heart diseases in migraineurs, drawing different conclusions. To define and update the issue, a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available observational studies was performed.

Methods: PubMed and EMBASE were systematically searched up to April 2014 for observational studies dealing with the risk of any form of ischaemic heart disease in migraineurs. Studies assessing migraine as exposure and several types of ischaemic heart disease as outcomes were included in the analysis. A random effects model was used to pool the effect sizes.

Results: Out of 3348 records, 15 studies (one case-control, one cross-sectional and 13 cohort studies) were identified and were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled analysis indicated an increased risk of myocardial infarction (pooled adjusted effect estimate 1.33, 95% confidence interval 1.08-1.64; P = 0.007) and of angina (pooled adjusted effect estimate 1.29, 95% confidence interval 1.17-1.43; P < 0.0001) in migraineurs compared to non-migraineurs.

Conclusions: Based on our data indicating an association of migraine with myocardial infarction and angina and on previous data showing an association of migraine, and particularly migraine with aura, with an increased risk for stroke, migraine can be appropriately considered an overall risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; headache disorders; ischaemic heart disease; meta-analysis; migraine.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Angina Pectoris / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity*
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology*