The aneurysm can rupture, causing a person to bleed to death within seconds to hours. Although more common in men, abdominal aortic aneurysms are more deadly in women. Proportionally fewer women than men survive surgery to repair the artery.

That can be 10 years after it starts to form. So here's a disease that lies dormant for many years, is easily detectable with ultrasound and yet frequently isn't detected and ultimately can be disastrous, because once rupture begins, 75 to 80 per cent of people who start to rupture will die.

Interestingly, the researchers found that women on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) had a lower risk of developing aneurysm condition. Although HRT cut the odds of an AAA event in the study, the researchers of the latest study say more studies are required to determine the role of the therapy in preventing the condition in women.

However, since further trials are needed to confirm the positive association of hormone therapy with AAA event, researchers do not yet recommend using hormone therapy for AAA prevention.

Overall smoking increases the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm in women and women are advised to quit smoking.

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