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Sit still! You’ll give yourself a subarachnoid haemorrhage

By Amy Fallon

Our round-up of the health headlines on Friday 6 May.

They’re simple actions and behaviours that we don’t even think about, but did you know that blowing your nose could lead to a stroke?

According to today’s Daily Mail, drinking coffee blowing your nose and having sex could increase your chances of developing a subarachnoid haemorrhage, a potentially deadly type of stroke, as all these activities trigger a sudden increase in blood pressure.

This worrying news comes to us courtesy of a study by the Netherlands’ University Medical Centre in Utrecht. They surveyed 250 people who had suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage.

The Guardian also carries the story, and quotes researcher Dr Ale Agra, an epidemiologist at the Utrecht Stroke Centre and the Julius Centre for Health and Primary Care, who said: ‘One of the major reasons we did this study was to understand why some aneurysms burst and others don’t.’

‘We wanted to know if there were specific triggers behind these events.’

The Mail also reports on the shocking news that one in six women say they would rather be blind than obese. Some would even prefer to suffer alcoholism or catching herpes to being seriously overweight, according to research by Arizona State University.

Tam Fry, spokesperson for the National Obesity Forum, said: ‘It’s extraordinary that women would choose to be blind, or have other severe health problems, in preference to obesity.’

‘Being obese is avoidable by taking steps to maintain a healthy weight… and even if you are obese there are effective ways to lose weight.’

None of this may matter though if you were born with the ‘happiness’ gene, which The Independent reports on.

A study has for the first time showed a link between the gene known as 5-HTT and satisfaction, according to the paper. The gene regulates the brain chemical serotonin. People with the long version are more likely to be bubbly, while there’s a greater chance that those with the short version will be pessimistic.

And there’s more happy news on this Friday, thanks to The Daily Telegraph. According to research from Northumbria University, ingredients in both chocolate and wine could make you smarter.

Two studies demonstrate that polyphenols in wine and chocolate increase in the blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which could boost its power especially in the elderly.

Spotted a story we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments and we’ll update the digest throughout the day…

Daily digest