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Am J Epidemiol. 2001 Aug 1;154(3):236-44.

Prevalence of and risk factors for abdominal aortic aneurysms in a population-based study : The Tromsø Study.

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Department of Radiology, University Hospital of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway.


In a population-based study of 6,386 men and women aged 25--84 years in Tromsø, Norway, in 1994--1995, the authors assessed the age- and sex-specific distribution of the abdominal aortic diameter and the prevalence of and risk factors for abdominal aortic aneurysm. Renal and infrarenal aortic diameters were measured with ultrasound. The mean infrarenal aortic diameter increased with age. The increase was more pronounced in men than in women. The age-related increase in the median diameter was less than that in the mean diameter. An aneurysm was present in 263 (8.9%) men and 74 (2.2%) women (p < 0.001). The prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysm increased with age. No person aged less than 48 years was found with an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Persons who had smoked for more than 40 years had an odds ratio of 8.0 for abdominal aortic aneurysm (95% confidence interval: 5.0, 12.6) compared with never smokers. Low serum high density lipoprotein cholesterol was associated with an increased risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm. Other factors associated with abdominal aortic aneurysm were a high level of plasma fibrinogen and a low blood platelet count. Antihypertensive medication (ever use) was significantly associated with abdominal aortic aneurysm, but high systolic blood pressure was a risk factor in women only. This study indicates that risk factors for atherosclerosis are also associated with increased risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm.

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