Aortic Aneurysm
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Aortic Aneurysm

Aortic Aneurysm Causes and Risk Factors

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What raises my risk for aortic aneurysms?

You may have an increased risk of developing an aortic aneurysm because of your age, family history, gene, lifestyle habits, medical conditions, or sex.

Age

Your risk for aortic aneurysms goes up as you age. Abdominal aortic aneurysms are most common in adults after age 65.

Family history and genetics

One in 10 people with abdominal aortic aneurysms have a family history of them. The chance of developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm is 1 in 5 for people who have a parent, brother, sister, or child with the condition, what is known as a first degree relative.

Several family or genetic conditions increase your risk for a thoracic aortic aneurysm. These include:

Lifestyle habits

Some lifestyle habits increase your risk of having an aortic aneurysm. These include:

  • Cigarette smoking is one of the main factors that increases your risk for an aortic aneurysm, especially an abdominal aortic aneurysm. If you are a current smoker, an abdominal aortic aneurysm may grow more quickly and be more likely to burst.
  • Stimulants such as cocaine, increase your blood pressure and your risk for an aortic aneurysm.

Medical conditions

Medical conditions that are risk factors for aortic aneurysms include:

Sex

Men are more likely than women to develop aortic aneurysms. However, an existing aneurysm is more likely to rupture at a smaller size in women than in men.

Race and ethnicity

Aortic abdominal aneurisms are less common in Hispanics, African Americans and Asian Americans.

Preventing aortic aneurysms

If you have risk factors for developing an aneurysm, your provider may recommend heart-healthy lifestyle changes to help prevent the condition, including:

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