Abdominal aortic aneurysms affect the abdominal aorta, the large blood vessel that carries blood through the abdomen. Aneurysms are found in 5-7 percent of people over 60 years old in the U.S., but rarely produce symptoms until they rupture. Ruptured aneurysms cause death in 90 percent of cases[i], making these events the 13th leading cause of death in the U.S.[ii] Screening for aneurysms to prevent ruptures is particularly important for those patients with a family history of these events and elderly patients (particularly males) with a history of smoking and hypertension.
[i] AHA Heart Disease and Stroke Stats, 2010 Update. http://www.ndhealth.gov/heartstroke/image/cache/AHA_Heart_Disease_and_Stroke_Stats_2010_Update.pdf
[ii] Fillit: Brocklehurst’s Textbook of Geriatric Medicine & Gerontology, 7th ed. Found on ClinicalKey. https://www.clinicalkey.com/topics/surgery/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm.html