Coffee and sex ‘increase stroke risk’

Drinking coffee, having sex and even blowing your nose could be enough to trigger a potentially fatal brain haemorrhage or stroke, research has shown.

All feature in a list of trigger factors that each boost the chances of a weakened blood vessel, or aneurysm, bursting in the brain.

Coffee consumption was at the top of the table and increased the risk by 10.6 per cent , followed by vigorous physical exercise at 7.9 per cent, nose blowing at 5.4 per cent and sexual intercourse at 4.3 per cent.

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Other risk factors were straining on the toilet, cola consumption, being startled, and getting angry.

“All of the triggers induce a sudden and short increase in blood pressure, which seems a possible common cause for aneurysmal rupture,” said lead researcher Dr Monique Vlak, from the University Medical Centre in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

The study, published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, looked at 250 haemorrhagic stroke patients who answered questions about their exposure to 30 potential trigger factors.