The 2009 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions

The American Heart Association held its 2009 Scientific Sessions from November 14 to 18 in Orlando. The features below highlight some of the news emerging from the meeting. For more information on these items and other research that was presented, go to Migraine Headaches Increase Stroke Risk The Particulars: Identifying people at highest risk of ischemic stroke is crucial to preventing disabling strokes. Many articles about the relationship between migraine and ischemic stroke have been published, but this relationship has not been well characterized. Data Breakdown: Researchers pooled results from 21 studies involving 622,381 men and women, assessing migraine and subsequent risk for ischemic stroke. Study participants were between the ages of 18 and 70, and none had suffered a stroke prior to enrollment. The risk of ischemic stroke for those with migraines was 2.3 times that of those without migraine. For those who experienced aura, the risk of ischemic stroke was 2.5 times higher. In women who experienced aura, the risk of ischemic stroke was 2.9 times as high as those without migraine with aura. Take Home Pearls: Migraine headaches appear to be associated with more than a two-fold higher risk of ischemic stroke. Physicians should consider addressing stroke risk factors in patients with a history or signs of light aura associated with severe migraine headaches. Benefits of Mechanical Thrombectomy in Primary PCI The Particulars: Previous studies have shown that myocardial perfusion after primary PCI is a strong predictor of mortality, independent from infarct-related coronary artery reopening. The EXPIRA (Thrombectomy With Export Catheter in Infarct-Related Artery During Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention) trial randomized 175 STEMI patients to...