Stroke, coronary heart disease, heart attacks and angina are all types of cardiovascular disease.
You could be at risk of cardiovascular disease if you’re a smoker, are overweight, have diabetes, or have high blood pressure, according to the British Heart Foundation.
But, there could be another sign of the deadly disease that’s less known, but affects about one billion people worldwide, scientists have claimed.
A severe headache, or migraine, could be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, Danish researchers revealed.
“Migraines should be considered a potent and persistent risk factor for most cardiovascular diseases in both men and women,” the scientists said.
“Ultimately, it will be important to determine whether prevention strategies in patients with migraine can reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease.
“We now have plenty of evidence that migraine should be taken seriously as a strong cardiovascular risk marker, but action to reduce risk is long overdue.
“Unfortunately, funding for migraine research has been seriously neglected.”
The researchers compared data from 51,000 people who had persistent migraines, and 510,000 people that didn’t suffer from the headaches.
Over 19 years, the scientists found that migraines were positively linked to heart attacks, stroke, blood clots and irregular heart rate.
For every 1,000 patients, 25 people that had migraines had a heart attack, compared with 17 patients that were migraine-free.
Forty-five patients with migraines had a stroke, while 25 patients without migraines had a stroke.
While no firm conclusions could be drawn about the cause and effect, the scientists suggested that migraines were linked to cardiovascular disease.
A migraine is usually a moderate to severe headache, that causes a throbbing pain on one side of the head, according to the NHS.
The condition can cause nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light or sound.
Women are about three times more likely to suffer migraines than men.
You should see a GP if you have frequent or severe migraines.