Brain strain

A new study out of the Netherlands finds that some of the most simple every day activities may increase the risk of an aneurysm rupture.

250 people who had suffered from a subarachnoid hemorrhage participated in the study. The research team surveyed the participants, asking the frequency and intensity of exposure to 30 potential triggers before the hemorrhage took place.

TIME outlines the eight activities that may be associated with an increased risk of rupture for untreated brain aneurysms:

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

As the Los Angeles Times points out, the common link between these activities is the temporary, sudden increase in blood pressure.

So, what does the research team recommend?

 “Reducing caffeine consumption or treating constipated patients with unruptured [intracranial aneurysms] with laxatives may lower the risk of [subarachnoid hemorrhage]. Although physical exercise has a triggering potential, we do not advise refraining from physical exercise because it is also an important factor in lowering the risk of other cardiovascular diseases.”

This study is published in the journal Stroke.

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