Coffee, sex and exercise can up risk of brain aneurysm

Those who like to start off the day with a latte/coitus combo and a morning run could be upping their risk of a terrifying brain aneurysm, according to Stroke: The Journal of the American Heart Association.

Per a study conducted by Dutch researchers, there are eight main triggers that sharply increase risk of an intracranial aneurysm (IA)- blood vessels in the brain that can swell and rupture. Only 2% of the population has IAs, and fewer of than that suffer ruptures, but IAs can be serious and deadly.

Researchers ID’d the top risk factors and the percentage at which they contribute to the risk:

  • Coffee consumption (10.6 percent)
  • Vigorous physical exercise (7.9 percent)
  • Nose blowing (5.4 percent)
  • Sexual intercourse (4.3 percent)
  • Straining to defecate (3.6 percent)
  • Cola consumption (3.5 percent)
  • Being startled (2.7 percent)
  • Being angry (1.3 percent)

Sound like your to do list today? Drinking alcohol was also determined to temporarily increase risk. Study lead author Monique H.M. Vlak, M.D, said that the events were sometimes preceded by nausea or vomiting, but oftentimes did not present with any other symptom. Vlak commented:

“Reducing caffeine consumption or treating constipated patients with unruptured IAs with laxatives may lower the risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage,” Vlak said. “Whether prescribing antihypertensive drugs to patients with unruptured IAs is beneficial in terms of preventing aneurysmal rupture still needs to be further investigated.”

Information was gathered for the study via a questionnaire administered to individuals who had experienced an IA regarding their activities directly prior to the event.