An aortic aneurysm is a bulging or dilation in the wall of the aorta which is a major blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body. The dilating wall of aorta is caused by the weakness or degeneration that develops in some portion of the aortic wall. Aortic aneurysms include abdominal aortic aneurysm (in the abdomen) and thoracic aortic aneurysm (in the chest cavity). An aneurysm might enlarge and the wall of the aorta cannot stretch any further. At this point, an aneurysm is at risk of rupturing, leading to fatal conditions. Men, especially aged 65-75 are more likely to develop abdominal aortic aneurysms much more often than women do. A number of factors can play a major role in developing an aortic aneurysm including:
- High blood pressure (hypertension);
- High blood cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia);
- Lifestyle habits e.g. smoking; and
- Genetic alterations that can weaken the aorta’s walls.
The danger of abdominal aortic aneurysms is no warning signs and symptoms to suggest that disease develops. When symptoms present, it usually indicates the ruptures that cause irregular blood circulation and other life-threatening complications. If abdominal aortic aneurysm is not diagnosed and treated in time, risks of death significantly rise.
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