APR 27, 2019 4:29 PM PDT

Get the Facts on Aneurysms

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

When the wall of an artery gets weak, it can widen or balloon abnormally into an aneurysm. That can happen anywhere, but the most common locations include the major artery from the heart - an aortic aneurysm, in the brain - a cerebral aneurysm, or the intestine - a mesenteric artery aneurysm. 

The causes are unknown, but a family history, smoking, or high blood pressure can each increase the risk. While some people can be born with them, aneurysms can also slowly build over the years, without causing symptoms. The Brain Aneurysm Foundation estimates that about six million Americans have an undiagnosed aneurysm. They can be diagnosed with ultrasounds, CT scans, or angiograms.

If an aneurysm ruptures, it is a dangerous medical emergency. Symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, pain, shock and low blood pressure. About 30,000 people experience a ruptured aneurysm every year, around fifteen percent die before they get to the hospital (primarily because of damage caused by the intial bleeding in the brain).

Sources: American Heart Association, Brain Aneurysm Foundation

About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
APR 19, 2020
Plants & Animals
APR 19, 2020
A Bullfrog Father Saves His Tadpoles From Certain Death
Most recognize the African bullfrog (Pyxicephalus adspersus) as one of Africa’s largest known frogs, but there&rsq ...
MAY 08, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 08, 2020
Scientists to Spiders: How Do You Handle Sticky (Nanofiber) Situation?
The term "biomimicry" describes the models and methods harnessed by scientists to imitate natural element ...
MAY 14, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 14, 2020
Do Organic Chemists Speak an Alien Language?
Have you ever read a detergent label and got confused? Or had trouble understanding a medication recall? Certain ch ...
MAY 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 17, 2020
Here's Why it's So Critical That We Understand the Sun
The Sun is just one of countless stars that exist in our universe. But it’s one of the most prominent because it&r ...
JUN 07, 2020
Plants & Animals
JUN 07, 2020
Everything You Need to Know About the Tawny Frogmouth
Tawny frogmouths (Podargus strigoides) are a captivating species of nocturnal bird that, although owl-esque in terms of ...
JUN 16, 2020
Plants & Animals
JUN 16, 2020
Desperate Polar Bear Mother Weighs Risks of Attacking Dangerous Walruses
Polar bears are being subjected to severe living conditions as the Arctic’s ice caps continue to melt, and without ...
Loading Comments...