Free Screening For Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, The Silent Killer

Print icon

You’ve probably heard that heart disease, cancer and stroke are among the leading causes of death in the United States. These conditions are often accompanied by several warning signs that can prompt someone to get help.

But with abdominal aortic aneurysms, the 13th-leading cause of death in the U.S., you may not know you have one until it’s too late.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm, or AAA, is a bulge in part of the aorta, the large artery that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. If the bulge gets large enough, it can rupture. If it does, your life is in danger.

Causes of aneurysms include age, smoking, genetic conditions, infections and injury. They occur in 5 percent to 7 percent percent of people over 60 and more than 10,000 people die needlessly from an undiagnosed AAA every year.

“Aneurysms expand slowly over many years and are considered silent killers,” said Dr. Akhilesh Jain, vascular and endovascular surgeon at the Hartford HealthCare Medical Group and Hartford Hospital. “There are typically no symptoms until rupture occurs, and up to 90 percent of patients who experience a rupture will not survive.”

That’s why early detection is critical. Aneurysms can be spotted with a fast and painless ultrasound that allows a doctor to look inside the abdomen and check if an AAA is present in just a few minutes.

AAAneurysm Outreach, the nation’s only 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of abdominal aortic aneurysm, is hosting a free AAA screening at Hartford Hospital on Oct. 1. If you are over 60 with at least two risk factors of AAA or a man over 55 with a family history of heart disease and at least one risk factor, call 888.871.3801 for an appointment.

If an aneurysm is located, it can be repaired. Hartford Hospital was recently ranked as a high-performing organization for abdominal aortic aneurysm repair by U.S. News & World Report.

 


What's New

Cancer cells.

Dr. Wylie Hosmer: Weaponizing Your Immune System Against Cancer

By Dr. Wylie D. Hosmer The three most terrifying words in the English language may be: “You have cancer.” But exciting advances in research have uncovered more powerful treatment options, using the patient’s immune system, to target and attack cancer cells. More research is needed, but this treatment known as...


Child Car Seat Safety: Installation is Key

Did you know that accidents – including car accidents – are the leading cause of children’s deaths? Child safety seats can reduce death by as much as 71 percent and prevent injury but only if they are used correctly, according to Safe Kids Connecticut. Connecticut law requires that all children...

Woman taking out trash.

Is Taking Out The Trash Any Way To Live Longer? (Really?)

Thanks to fitness-tracker accelerometers, researchers have learned more precisely the amount of physical activity it takes to live a longer, fitter life. Surprisingly, not much. Three studies that used accelerometers to measure participants’ activity  concluded in recent months that even the lightest regular physical activity — making a bed, taking...

IV bags.

How Hurricane Maria Caused Nationwide IV Bag Shortage

With a nationwide shortage of intravenous bags, clinical pharmacies across Hartford Healthcare are working to ensure patient care isn’t interrupted. The Wall Street Journal reported that the shortage began in September after a group of IV bag manufacturing plants in Puerto Rico lost power because of Hurricane Maria. The shortage...

Man with flu.

The ‘Man Flu’: A Severe Case or Severe Wimpiness?

When it comes to complaining about flu and other upper-respiratory infection symptoms, men might not be wimps after all.  Maybe. A new study by researchers at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada found that “man flu” — a term often used by women who think that men complain more about...