Who is at risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), and what are the major complications of AAA?
The incidence of AAA increases after age 50 and peaks in the eighth decade of life, when the frequency rate of AAA ranges from 0.5% to 3% in autopsy studies. The prevalence of AAA is higher in older men with risk factors (4.5%) and lower in older women with risk factors (1%). The main risk factors for AAA include male gender and age older than 65, smoking history, atherosclerosis, hypertension, and family history. Major complications of AAA include rupture, thromboembolic disease, and compression of adjacent organs when large in size. There are more than 15,000 deaths annually due to AAA rupture (the thirteenth leading cause of death in the U.S.).