In the general population, an abdominal
aortic aneurysm (AAA) happens in about 1 out of 100 men
ages 45 to 54. But AAAs occur more often as people get older: up to 12 out of 100
men ages 75 to 84.1 Women are 2 to 5 times less likely
than men to have an AAA.2
Abdominal aortic aneurysms are more likely if you have ever smoked or have a first-degree
relative (parent, brother, or sister) who has had an AAA.
Atherosclerosis -- hardening and narrowing of the arteries -- gets a lot of bad press, with good reason. This progressive process silently and slowly blocks arteries, putting blood flow at risk.
Atherosclerosis is the usual cause of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease -- what together are called "cardiovascular disease." Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer in America, with more than 800,000 deaths in 2005.
How does atherosclerosis develop? Who gets it, and why? This...
Hirsch AT, et al. (2006). ACC/AHA 2005 practice
guidelines for the management of patients with peripheral arterial disease
(lower extremity, renal, mesenteric, and abdominal aortic): A collaborative
report from the American Association for Vascular Surgery/Society for Vascular
Surgery, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society for
Vascular Medicine and Biology, Society of Interventional Radiology, and the
ACC/AHA Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Develop
Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease):
Endorsed by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary
Rehabilitation; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Society for Vascular
Nursing; TransAtlantic Inter-Society Consensus; and Vascular Disease
Foundation. Circulation, 113(11): e463-e654.
Eagle KA, Armstrong WF (2007). Disease of the aorta.
In DC Dale, DD Federman, eds., ACP Medicine, section 1,
chap. 12. New York: WebMD.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
David A. Szalay, MD - Vascular Surgery
January 26, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
January 26, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this