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How does an aneurysm change my lifestyle?

Mark J. Russo, MD
Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular)

People with aortic aneurysms prevent further growth of their aneurysm and/or aortic catastrophe by the following:

  • Control your blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, get a home blood pressure measuring device to help you monitor and keep your blood pressure well controlled.
  • Don't smoke. Or, if you do, take steps to stop.
  • Maintain an ideal weight. Follow a low-salt diet and exercise regularly. 
  • Watch your cholesterol. Keep your cholesterol levels within a range that is recommended by your doctor.
  • Continue low-impact exercise (e.g. brisk walking). Avoid high-impact exercise that significantly increases your blood pressure (erg weight training)
  • Wear a seat belt. This reduces the risk of traumatic injury to your chest area.
  • Keep your doctor well informed. If you have a family history of aortic dissection, let your doctor know. 
If you have an aortic aneurysm, it's important to follow your treatment plan and have ongoing medical care. Early diagnosis and treatment help prevent many cases of rupture and dissection.
Aneurysms can develop and become large before causing any symptoms. Thus, people who are at high risk for aneurysms may need routine screening to find and monitor an aneurysm.
If you have a small aneurysm that isn't causing pain, you may not need treatment. However, you may need routine tests to make sure the aneurysm isn't getting bigger.
Your doctor may prescribe medicines to treat your aneurysm. Medicines can lower your blood pressure, relax your blood vessels, and reduce the risk of rupture. Take all of your medicines exactly as your doctor prescribes.
This answer from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has been reviewed and/or edited by Dr. William D. Knopf.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.