Older adults who have migraines may have a higher risk of stroke if they smoke, new study findings published in Neurology suggest. 

Researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and colleagues followed 1,292 patients from the Northern Manhattan Study who reported migraine for 11 years to track the incidence of heart attacks or stroke. Among the patients studied, 187 had migraine without aura and 75 with aura. In the study, a total of 294 strokes, heart attacks, and deaths occurred. 

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Study authors did not find an association between migraine with or without aura and the risk of developing stroke or heart attacks, and migraine was not associated with an increased risk of stroke. Among smokers, however, migraine was linked to a 3-fold increase in the risk of stroke. 

Though the association between migraine and risk of stroke in smokers may be due to chance, findings from the study were consistent with other studies, researchers noted. 

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