When the wall of a blood vessel weakens, a balloon-like dilation called an aneurysm sometimes develops. This happens most often in the abdominal aorta, an essential blood vessel that supplies blood to your legs.
Every year, 200,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).
A ruptured AAA is the 15th leading cause of death in the country, and the 10th leading cause of death in men older than 55.
FAMILY HISTORY IS IMPORTANT
Aneurysms run in families. If a first-degree relative has had an AAA, you are 12 times more likely to develop an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Of patients in treatment to repair an AAA, 15–25% have a first-degree relative with the same type of aneurysm.