The best way to prevent an aortic aneurysm is to avoid the factors that put you at higher risk for one. You can’t control all aortic aneurysm risk factors, but lifestyle changes can help you lower some risks.
For example, if you smoke, try to quit. Talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit smoking. Also, try to avoid secondhand smoke. For more information about how to quit smoking, go to the Health Topics Smoking and Your Heart article.
Another important lifestyle change is following a healthy diet. A healthy diet includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It also includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, and fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products. A healthy diet is low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugar.
For more information about following a healthy diet, go to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI’s) Aim for a Healthy Weight Web site, "Your Guide to a Healthy Heart," and "Your Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure With DASH." All of these resources include general information about healthy eating.
Be as physically active as you can. Talk with your doctor about the amounts and types of physical activity that are safe for you. For more information about physical activity, go to the Health Topics Physical Activity and Your Heart article and the NHLBI’s "Your Guide to Physical Activity and Your Heart."
Although you may not be able to prevent an aneurysm, early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent rupture and dissection.
Aneurysms can develop and grow large before causing any signs or symptoms. Thus, people who are at high risk for aneurysms may benefit from early, routine screening.
Your doctor may recommend routine screening if you’re:
If you’re at risk, but not in one of these high-risk groups, ask your doctor whether screening will benefit you.
Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Aneurysm, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.
The NHLBI supports a national registry that enrolls patients with genetic conditions related to thoracic aortic aneurysms. The data collected through the GenTAC registry will help doctors and researchers better understand how genes, thoracic aortic aneurysms, and heart disease are linked. To learn more about GenTAC, visit https://gentac.rti.org/Home.aspx.
August 19, 2014
Gary H. Gibbons
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The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.