The aorta is the main blood vessel carrying blood throughout the body. An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a bulge or widening (dilation) of the aorta caused by a weakening in the abdominal aortic wall. If the aneurysm becomes large enough, it may rupture.
Abdominal aortic aneurysms occur in about five percent of men over 60 and women over 70. This condition is the tenth leading cause of death in men over the age of 55, usually due to rupture. Ruptured aneurysms result in death in approximately 80–90 percent of cases.
Most patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms have no symptoms. If the aneurysm begins to leak or rupture, you may experience:
- Abdominal or back pain.
- Flank or groin pain.
- Low blood pressure.
- Loss of consciousness.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, consult a MemorialCare Physician partner.