Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School



You may be able to reduce your risk of an aortic aneurysm. You can do this by controlling your risk factors for atherosclerosis.

  • If you smoke, quit now

  • If you have high cholesterol:

    • Eat a diet low in fats and cholesterol

    • If necessary, take cholesterol-lowering medication

If you have high blood pressure:

    • Maintain a healthy weight or reduce caloric intake if you are over weight

    • Decrease salt intake

    • Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables

    • Take medication to control your blood pressure as needed

  • If you have diabetes:

    • Monitor your blood sugar frequently

    • Follow a healthy diet

    • Keep your blood pressure in the normal range

    • Aim for an LDL cholesterol less than 100 mg/dL, using medication if necessary

Also, exercise regularly and maintain an ideal weight.

Men aged 65 to 75 who have ever smoked should have a one-time screening ultrasound.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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