advertisement
06 May 2011

Sex risks brain aneurysm rupture

If you have a brain aneurysm, drinking coffee, having sex or even getting angry may boost the risk of it rupturing, a new study suggests.

0

If you have a brain aneurysm, drinking coffee, having sex or even getting angry may boost the risk of it rupturing, a new study suggests.

Although the risk is extremely small, people who have aneurysms should be careful, said Dr Sahil Parikh, assistant professor of medicine at University Hospitals Case Medical Centre in Cleveland.

"For those patients who do have aneurysms, it would be advisable to avoid those behaviours," said Parikh, who's familiar with the study findings.

Aneurysms occur when the wall of an artery weakens and bulges out. They can occur anywhere in the body, but are particularly dangerous in the brain, where they can cause a hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke if they burst.

In the study, published online in the journal Stroke, researchers asked 250 patients who had suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm about their exposure to 30 possible triggers before the haemorrhage.

Risks raised

The investigators found that being startled raised the risk of burst aneurysm in someone who already has an aneurysm by the highest level, 23-fold. Anger boosted the risk by six times. Other things raised the level, too: Coffee (two times), cola (three times), straining for defecation (seven times), sexual intercourse (11 times), nose blowing and vigorous physical activity (both two times).

The cause seems to be higher blood pressure, said study lead author Dr Monique H.M. Vlak, since all eight activities cause blood pressure to rise.

Vlak said about 2% of the population has a brain aneurysm. They are often symptomless and frequently harmless.

Likelihood rare

"You shouldn't be scared because the likelihood of this happening is extremely rare," said Parikh. "I would encourage patients not to worry excessively about it and consult with their doctor if they feel at risk of an aneurysm."

Even if you do have an aneurysm, it's unlikely to bother you. "We think most aneurysms never rupture," said Vlak, a neurologist at the Utrecht Stroke Centre at University Medical Centre in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

"Most aneurysms are discovered incidentally, since they hardly ever cause symptoms before rupturing," she added. "If they do cause symptoms, most often it is double vision or an incredibly severe headache, which is maximal within less than a minute. The latter is often a small leak and is called a 'warning leak.'"

People with known aneurysms should avoid caffeine, Vlak said, and use laxatives if they're constipated.

As for exercise, Vlak said its positive effects on the body outweigh the extra risk among those patients.

(HealthDay News, Randy Dotinga, May 2011)

Read more:

Abdominal aortic aneurysm

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X

More:

BrainNews
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

The debate continues »

Working out in the concrete jungle 7 top butt exercises for guys 10 things pole dancing can do for you

The running vs. walking debate

There are many different theories when it comes to the running vs. walking for health and weight loss.

Veganism a crime? »

Running the Comrades Marathon on a vegan diet Are vegans unnatural beasts? Can a vegan be really healthy?

Should it be a crime to raise a baby on vegan food?

After a number of cases of malnourishment in Italy, it may become a crime to feed children under 16 a vegan diet.