Recent Blog Articles
Ready for your routine medical checkup?
Nicotine addiction explained — and how medications can help
Is your vision impaired? Tips to cope
Misgendering: What it is and why it matters
Healthy brain, healthier heart?
Stories connect us
Wondering about a headline-grabbing drug? Read on
Respiratory virus cases tick upward: What parents should know
Hope: Why it matters
Will new guidelines for heart failure affect you?
Diseases & Conditions
Screening savvy: You're likely at low risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm
A bulging abdominal aortic aneurysm can be deadly, but only certain men should be checked for it with ultrasound.
The aorta is the Amazon River of arteries. It rises from the heart to feed a multitude of lesser vessels that branch through the chest and abdomen. Over a lifetime, the portion that plunges downward toward the kidneys and legs—the abdominal aorta—can become weakened by disease in the vessel wall. Gradually it may bulge outward, forming an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). If the bulge ruptures like the wall of an old tire, the result is often fatal.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.