Harvard Men's Health Watch

Abdominal aortic aneurysm: When you need this one-time test

Men 65 and older who ever smoked can be checked for a dangerous bulge in the main blood vessel that leads from the heart, through the abdominal area, and down to the legs. A bulge is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Most are small, grow slowly, and do not ultimately rupture. But being diagnosed with an AAA leads to indefinite follow-up testing and can cause anxiety because of the possibility of fatal rupture.  
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