What Causes an Aneurysm?

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An aneurysm is a bulging in one of the vessels that carries your blood. It can appear near your heart or in another part of your body, and it can cause very serious problems if it weakens or swells so much that it bursts. We don’t yet know exactly what causes an aneurysm to form in a particular place, but there are some risk factors that increase the chances of having both an aneurysm and heart disease.

Risks You Can’t Avoid

Age is one of the main factors in the risk of aneurysm and heart disease. The risk of cardiovascular problems increases as we enter middle age, and aneurysms are also more likely to occur as we grow older. Very few people develop an aneurysm before the age of 55, and most cases happen in people who are over 75. Gender is also an important risk factor for both conditions. Men are more likely to have an aneurysm or heart disease, although women do need to be aware of the risks too.

Risks You Can Reduce

Some of the other things that increase the chances of aneurysm and heart disease are lifestyle factors that you can actually change to reduce your risk. The most important risk factor is smoking. Being a smoker significantly increases your chance of having an aneurysm or cardiovascular disease, so you should avoid smoking or give it up. Other lifestyle factors that can increase your risk of aneurysm include your diet and activity levels. Eating an unhealthy diet, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise can be very bad for your heart and cardiovascular system, particularly if they leave you with high blood pressure or atherosclerosis. The strain on your blood vessels can result in an aneurysm developing when the wall of the vein or artery is unable to take it any more. However, you can reduce the risk of this happening by improving your lifestyle, getting fit, and losing any excess weight.