Migraines related to high blood pressure after menopause, says a neurological study

Migraines, menopause and high blood pressure | Photo credit: iStock Images

Key highlights

  • Migraine headaches can be quite debilitating for some sufferers; and most (almost two thirds) of them are women.
  • A research study has shown that women who suffered from migraines in their early life are likely to experience high blood pressure after monopause.
  • A Harvard Medical School report mentioned this in an article citing the study published in the journal Neurology.

Is there a connection between migraines and high blood pressure (hypertension)? Harvard Medical School has been watching this research, says a report by Kelly Bilodeau, editor-in-chief of Harvard Women’s Health Watch. It cites a study published online on April 21, 2021 by a prestigious medical journal called Neurology that found a link.

The study of the association between migraines and postmenopausal high blood pressure:

  1. Researchers wanted to find out whether women who had migraines were more likely to develop high blood pressure after menopause.
  2. They studied 56,202 French postmenopausal women who were part of the French E3N cohort.
  3. The tracking project started in 1990 with the aim of providing data for lifestyle and disease studies.
  4. None of the women had high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease at the start of the study.
  5. The researchers asked women in a series of surveys if they had migraines or high blood pressure.
  6. After checking for migraine medications and lifestyle factors that might affect cardiovascular risk, the researchers found that women with migraines were more likely to have high blood pressure than those who didn’t.

Migraines and women:

Migraines are an often misunderstood form of headache. Let’s look at what Harvard Medical School defines as: “Migraines are a very common, but very specific, type of headache. Most people with migraines experience repetitive headaches that last for many years. The typical migraine headache is throbbing or pulsating and is often associated with nausea and blurred vision. While many migraine headaches are severe, not all severe headaches are migraines, and some episodes can be quite mild. “

It adds that migraine headaches first appear in childhood or adolescence in those suffering from these types of headaches. The majority of those who get it (two-thirds of people who get migraines) are women, likely due to the influence of hormones. Worse, genes make it harder to escape as migraines run in families too, the report said.

Menopause: A Unique Period for Women

Menopause is a phase in life when you no longer have your monthly period – as a normal part of aging and the end of your reproductive years. It usually occurs in women in their late 40s to early 50s, but those women who must elect to have their ovaries surgically removed for medical reasons also face what is known as a “sudden” surgical menopause. The sudden hormonal changes in a woman’s body during menopause cause immense physical and emotional upheaval in some women, while others may not feel any major changes at all. High blood pressure and headaches are among the ailments faced by women going through menopause.
Hypertension: high blood pressure


High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition where the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is so high that it can eventually cause health problems such as heart disease. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure, says the Mayo Clinic. It is best to manage high blood pressure, as directed by your doctor, by changing your lifestyle, using relaxation techniques, and taking medications that are prescribed by your doctor.

Disclaimer: The tips and suggestions mentioned in this article are for general information only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or nutritionist before starting any fitness program or changing your diet.