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Women who smoke are eight times more likely to have an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair or rupture than women who have never smoked.


Women who smoke have a dramatically higher risk of developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm than those who never used tobacco, say researchers, adding yet another reason to the long list of reasons for butting out or avoiding getting hooked in the first place.


Researchers found that female smokers are four times more likely to have an aortic aneurysm rupture or need repair, compared to women who have quit smoking. Women who smoke have an eight-fold higher risk of rupture or the need for repair than those who never took up the habit, the study found. Previous research has shown that tobacco use amplifies the prevalence of aortic aneurysms in men, as well.


Abdominal aortic aneurysm, also written as AAA and often pronounced 'triple-A', is caused by a weakened area in the main vessel that supplies blood from the heart to the rest of the body. When blood flows through the aorta (blood vessel that delivers oxygen-rich blood from the left ventricle to the body; it is the largest blood vessel in the body.), the pressure of the blood beats against the weakened wall, which then bulges like a balloon. If the balloon grows large enough, there is a danger that it will burst. And, if the aneurysm ruptures, most patients die before reaching a hospital.


Professor Frank Lederle and colleagues, who studied, warns that female smokers are eight times more likely to have an abdominal aortic aneurysm repair or rupture than women who have never smoked, and are four times more likely than women who have quit smoking.


An aneurysm occurs when an area in the wall of the aorta — the body's largest artery that runs from the heart to the abdomen before dividing into two blood vessels to the legs — is weakened and begins ballooning out.



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