Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drinking coffee, having sex are triggers that raise rupture risks for brain aneurysm, study finds

Date:
May 5, 2011
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Drinking coffee and having sex are among eight "triggers" that appear to temporarily raise the risk of rupturing a brain aneurysm and suffering a stroke, according to new research. Other triggers include exercising vigorously, drinking cola, blowing your nose, straining to defecate, being suddenly startled or angry. All triggers may result in a temporary increase in blood pressure.

From drinking coffee to having sex to blowing your nose, you could temporarily raise your risk of rupturing a brain aneurysm -- and suffering a stroke, according to a study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Dutch researchers identified eight main triggers that appear to increase the risk of intracranial aneurysm (IA), 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 IAs, but few rupture.

Calculating population attributable risk -- the fraction of subarachnoid hemorrhages that can be attributed to a particular trigger factor -- the researchers identified the eight factors and their contribution to the risk as:

  • 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)

"All of the triggers induce a sudden and short increase in blood pressure, which seems a possible common cause for aneurysmal rupture," said Monique H.M. Vlak, M.D., lead author of the study and a neurologist at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Risk was higher shortly after drinking alcohol, but decreased quickly, researchers said.

"Subarachnoid hemorrhage caused by the rupture of an intracranial aneurysm is a devastating event that often affects young adults," Vlak said. "These trigger factors we found are superimposed on known risk factors, including female gender, age and hypertension."

Few people with IAs have symptoms before such a rupture, such as vomiting, vision problems, loss of consciousness, and especially severe headaches. Many have none. With the increasing use of neuroimaging techniques, more incidental aneurysms are being detected, researchers said.

The researchers sought to identify potential triggers and their level of risk. They asked 250 patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage to complete a questionnaire about exposure to 30 potential trigger factors in the period shortly before their event and their usual frequency and intensity of exposure to these triggers. They then assessed relative risk using a case-crossover design that determines if a specific event was triggered by something that happened just before it.

Although physical activity had triggering potential, researchers don't advise refraining from it because it's also an important factor in lowering risk of other cardiovascular diseases.

"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."

The findings were limited by the retrospective design of the study and the average three weeks between subarachnoid hemorrhage and completion of the questionnaire, researchers said. Moreover, specifically asking for exposure in a particular time frame may have been limited by recall bias and including patients in a relatively good clinical condition could have led to survival bias.

Co-authors are Ale Algra, M.D., Ph.D.; Gabriel J.E. Rinkel, M.D., Ph.D.; Paut Greebe, R.N., Ph.D.; and Johanna van der Bom, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The Julius Center for General Health and Primary Care and the Department of Neurology of the University Medical Center in Utrecht, the Netherlands funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Monique H.M. Vlak, Gabriel J.E. Rinkel, Paut Greebe, Johanna G. van der Bom, and Ale Algra. Trigger Factors and Their Attributable Risk for Rupture of Intracranial Aneurysms: A Case-Crossover Study. Stroke, 2011; DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.606558

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Drinking coffee, having sex are triggers that raise rupture risks for brain aneurysm, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110505102550.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2011, May 5). Drinking coffee, having sex are triggers that raise rupture risks for brain aneurysm, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110505102550.htm
American Heart Association. "Drinking coffee, having sex are triggers that raise rupture risks for brain aneurysm, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110505102550.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins