Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – Risk Factors & Screening

Risk Factors of abdominal aortic aneurysm include:

  • Smoking: the most common risk factor for aneurysms. Smokers have a higher risk to develop abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • Age: over 60
  • Men: four to five times more likely to have an aneurysm, though large aneurysms in women are more likely to rupture.
  • Family history: a first-degree relative (immediate family member) who’s had an aortic aneurysm
  • Hyperlipidemia: too much “bad” cholesterol
  • Hypertension: high blood pressure
  • Diabetes: in artery walls damaged by high blood sugar, where plaque easily sticks
  • Obesity: due to a rise in other risk factors such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes
  • Race: more common among whites.

Generally speaking, atherosclerosis is thought to play an important role in abdominal aortic aneurysm. So the risk factors of atherosclerosis can all be risk factors of abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Remember 75% patients don’t show any symptom until the moment of aneurysm rupture. And fifty percent of them didn’t make it to the hospital. That’s why screening is so important.

Another important point for women: although men have a higher risk of developing bigger size aneurysm, the chance of rupture of big aneurysm in women is higher. So the screening also matters to women.

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