What is an Abdominal aortic aneurysm?

An aneurysm, or a balloon like dilation can develop if the wall of a blood vessel weakens. It occurs most often in the blood vessel that supplies blood to your organs and legs, the abdominal aorta.

What are the causes?

Smoking, in men and women over 60 years old, a history of atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, heart or peripheral disease, and anyone who has a first-generation relative who has developed AAA. Less common causes include tears or prior trauma in the arterial wall, infections, and congenital tissue disorders.

What are the symptoms of this disease?

Aneurysms can develop slowly and often with minimal to no symptoms. If the aneurysm expands rapidly, or ruptures, symptoms will be sudden and life-threatening. These symptoms include passing out, shock, increased heart rate, clammy skin, dizziness, pain in the abdomen or back, nausea, vomiting.

Learn more about the diagnosis and treatment here.

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