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The aorta is the main vessel of the human body providing blood to all organs. An aortic aneurysm is a "ballooning" in this main blood vessel that can lead to rupture or dissection.

Each year, 15,000 Americans die due to ruptures of these aneurysms, often without ever having symptoms. Another 100,000 are diagnosed before rupture, typically as the result of an incidental imaging procedure.

The incidence of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and thoracoabdominal aneurysm (TAA) has increased substantially in recent decades; surgery is the only effective treatment.

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What are the Risk Factors for Aortic Aneurysm?

Although many risk factors for aortic aneurysms have been identified, the exact cause remains unknown. Risk factors for aortic aneurysms include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Emphysema
  • Genetic factors
  • Male gender

Memorial Hermann is equipped with the full range of technology for accurate, noninvasive assessment of a wide range of conditions.