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FACTFILE: Details on abdominal aortic aneurysms

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 15, 2014

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ABDOMINAL aortic aneurysms are most common in men aged over 65, with around in one in 25 men being affected.

The number of aortic aneurysms that rupture is much smaller, with only around one in 10,000 people having a ruptured aortic aneurysm in any year in England.

Men are six times more likely to have an aneurysm than women.

On average, a ruptured aortic aneurysm occurs 10 years later in women than in men.

The best way to prevent getting an aneurysm, or reduce the risk of an aneurysm growing bigger and possibly rupturing, is to avoid any activities that could damage your blood vessels, such as:

smoking;

eating a high-fat diet;

not exercising regularly; and

being overweight or obese.

The abdominal aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body.

It is roughly the width of a garden hose.

It transports oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to the rest of the body.

It runs in a straight line down from the heart, through the chest and abdomen before branching off into a network of smaller blood vessels.

In most cases, an abdominal aortic aneurysm causes no noticeable symptoms and does not pose a serious threat to health.

However, there is a risk that a larger aneurysm could burst open .

A ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause massive internal bleeding, which is usually fatal.

Four out of five people with a ruptured aortic aneurysm will die as a result.

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