Early Detection: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

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Risk factors associated with abdominal aortic aneurysms
  • Atherosclerosis (build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries)
  • Smoking
  • Overweight/obesity
  • Family history of abdominal aortic aneurysms, heart disease or other diseases of the arteries
  • Having certain other diseases, such as tuberculosis
Symptoms associated with abdominal aortic aneurysms
  • Deep penetrating pain in the back or the side of the abdomen
  • Steady gnawing pain in the abdomen that lasts for hours or days at a time
  • Coldness, numbness or tingling in the feet (due to blocked blood flow of the legs)
If the abdominal aortic aneurysm ruptures, symptoms may include:
  • Sudden, severe pain in the lower abdomen and back
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Clammy, sweaty skin
  • Lightheadedness
  • Rapid heart rate when standing
  • Internal bleeding from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can result in shock. Shock is a life-threatening condition that compromises blood flow to the organs.
Keys to prevention of abdominal aortic aneurysms
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet
  • Control high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Partake in regular physical activity
  • Early detection and disease prevention
  • These Health Screening Guidelines [ link to pdf, which will be provided ] outline recommended screenings.
  • These Physical Activity Guidelines [ link to pdf, which will be provided ] outline recommended activity guidelines for everyone – for Children & Adolescents (Ages 6-17), Adults (Ages 18-64) and Older Adults (64 and over).

IMPORTANT: This information is provided as a community service. It is not intended as medical advice. Contact your personal physician about your individual health care needs and for advice about starting a new exercise program.