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Coffee 'can boost brain haemorrhage risk'


Fatal brain haemorrhages can be potentially brought on by drinking coffee, having sex or even blowing your nose, a new study has found.

The activities were included in a list of factors that could potentially lead to a weakened blood vessel, or aneurysm, bursting in the brain, according to the research from the University Medical Centre in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

The study, published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, showed that the most high risk trigger factor was revealed to be drinking coffee, as it was found to raise the chances of a brain haemorrhage occurring by 10.6%.

Vigorous physical exercise followed in second with 7.9%, nose blowing was third with 5.4%, ahead of sexual intercourse, which increased the risk by 4.3%.

Other potential trigger factors included straining on the toilet, drinking cola, being startled and getting angry.

Dr Monique Vlak, the study’s lead researcher, said that one thing all the trigger factors have in common is that they bring about a short increase in blood pressure, which is a possible common cause for aneurysmal rupture.

The research looked at 250 haemorrhagic stroke patients who answered questions about their exposure to 30 potential trigger factors.

Relative risks were then calculated on the basis of brain bleeds being triggered by pre-ceding events.

Dr Vlak said: “Reducing caffeine consumption or treating constipated patients with unruptured IAs with laxatives may lower the risk of subarachnoid haemorrhage.

“Whether prescribing antihypertensive (blood pressure lowering) drugs to patients with unruptured IAs is beneficial in terms of preventing aneurysmal rupture still needs to be further investigated.”

An estimated 2% of the population have intracranial aneurysms (IAs) but few of them rupture.

When they do, it often occurs without warning. Sometimes a rupture is preceded by symptoms such as vomiting, impaired vision, fainting and severe headaches.



Readers' comments (2)

  • Goodness me, give up coffee; don't blow your nose; don't do too much exercise; don't drink cola; don't strain on the toilet; don't get startled; don't get angry; and don't have sex -at this rate we will all be advised not to get out of bed. Actually if you thought too much about it you wouldn't WANT to get out of bed and just risk it with the last one! My mum literally dropped dead from an intracranial aneurysm as did her father. She had been in bed with a vomiting bug so no doubt that's what triggered it. My brother and I have both had MRI scans for seperate medical emergencies but my sister has not and doesn't want to citing 'When it's your time to go it's your time to go' as her reasoning. If the other 23 trigger factors are as run as the mill as these ones then I tend to agree with her. No offence to the researchers but 250 patients is not a good enough ratio for me to send such a scaremongering message out there I'm afraid.

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  • A scan for this should then be added to the growing list for screening of all the other potential disorders we can contract from wayward lifestyles. Whilst this might serve to put some minds at rest, it could create a culture of the 'worried well' but save millions in care which would be required if a CV event occured. however, this might result in a costly rise in demands for free CBT on the NHS, other psychotherapies and psychotropic drugs and eventual death caused by disease to one of the organs or systems still not include on this list may be an inevitablility!
    It seems paradoxical that all the behaviours which have been so strongly encouraged for the benefits to health, and normal physiological functions some of which are unavoidable, should suddenly become such a threat.
    Further interesting information and comments on this can be found in the article in today's Telegraph
    Coffee, exercise and nose-blowing raise risk of stroke
    Everyday activities such as drinking coffee, energetic sex and even blowing one’s nose can burst blood vessels in the brain, according to research.
    By Martin Beckford, Health Correspondent 12:01AM BST 06 May 2011
    lol from Ms. T-in-Cheek xox

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