An aneurysm is a bulge in an artery caused by the weakening of the blood vessel. Aneurysms that become too thin and too large can rupture, leading to potentially fatal bleeding. In some cases, aneurysms near the surface of the skin will be tender, swollen, or produce a large mass. Generally, however, there are few symptoms of an aneurysm, so screening is important for those who are at risk.
An aneurysm can happen anywhere in the body, but the most common types of aneurysms can be found in:
Risk factors for developing aneurysms include:
- High blood pressure and/or cholesterol
- Family history
- Arterial disease
- Advanced age
- Male gender