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Surprising Science

Are Coffee and Sex Stroke Risks?

Coffee, sex, blowing your nose and getting mad are everyday triggers that can raise your risk of a type of stroke by causing blood vessels to burst, say researchers in the Netherlands.

What’s the Latest Development?

Researchers at the University Medical Center in Utrecht conducted on study of 250 patients for three years looking at the potential triggers that can increase blood pressure, leading to a rupture in the brain if you have an untreated cerebral aneurysm and potentially causing brain damage or death. What they found is that coffee was responsible for 10.6 percent of burst brain aneurysms, vigorous exercise was linked to 7.9 percent, nose blowing to 5.4 percent and sex to 4.3 percent of cases. According to the same study, other risk factors include straining to defecate, drinking cola, being startled and being angry.

What’s the Big Idea?

“The U.S. Brain Aneurysm Foundation estimates that of 40 percent of the 27,000 Americans a year who suffer a ruptured cerebral aneurysm die, and most of those who survive are left with permanent brain damage, CBS reports.” Identifying potential triggers could be helpful to the small percentage (about 2 percent) of people with an untreated brain aneurysm. However, the general population shouldn’t worry about drinking a coffee. According to researchers, it would be more beneficial for the average person to stop smoking, lose weight and exercise. General risk factors that lead to weakened blood vessels in the first place include smoking, being overweight and lack of exercise.


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