Coffee, sex can rupture brain aneurysm

May 5, 2011 at 10:19 PM

UTRECHT, Netherlands, May 5 (UPI) -- Drinking coffee or having sex can trigger a stroke in the estimated 2 percent of those with a brain aneurysm, weakness of a blood vessel, Dutch researchers say.

Lead author Dr. Monique H.M. Vlak, a neurologist at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, Netherlands, said an intracranial aneurysm is a weakness in the wall of a brain blood vessel that often causes it to balloon. If it ruptures, it can result in a subarachnoid hemorrhage which is a stroke caused by bleeding at the base of the brain.

An estimated 2 percent of the general population have intracranial aneurysms, but few rupture, Vlak explained.

Vlak and colleagues identified eight factors and their contribution to the risk of a subarachnoid hemorrhages:

-- Coffee consumption at 10.6 percent.

-- Vigorous physical exercise at 7.9 percent.

-- Nose blowing at 5.4 percent.

-- Sexual intercourse at 4.3 percent.

-- Straining to defecate at 3.6 percent.

-- Cola consumption at 3.5 percent.

-- Being startled at 2.7 percent.

-- Being angry at 1.3 percent.

"All of the triggers induce a sudden and short increase in blood pressure, which seems a possible common cause for aneurysmal rupture," Vlak said in a statement.

The study was published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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