Genes don’t trigger heart disease in migraine sufferers

New York, July 3 (IANS) In people suffering from migraine with aura, genes cannot be blamed for the increased risk of heart disease as studies have shown, researchers say.

Migraine without aura and heart disease do share some genetic variations but researchers found that those shared genes actually protected against heart disease.

“We found no shared gene variations between migraine with aura and heart disease,” said study author Aarno Palotie from Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

This is surprising because the evidence is stronger that people with migraine with aura have an increased risk of heart disease than people with migraine without aura.

For the study, the researchers analysed two large genome-wide association studies of migraine and heart disease.

These studies have identified genetic variations that increase the risk for these two diseases.

Other genetic as well as non-genetic factors not captured by these studies, could play a role in the link between migraine and heart disease.

“For example, migraine has been associated with obesity, avoidance of exercise, smoking and depression, all of which increase the risk of heart disease.”

“We now need to understand why people with migraine who are born with a protective or neutral genetic risk for heart disease end up with an increased risk for heart problems.”

The research was published in the journal Neurology Genetics.

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