The purpose of this article is to review studies of aneurysm risk factors and the suggested hypotheses that connect the different risk factors and the underlying mechanisms governing the aneurysm natural history. The result of this work suggests that at the center of aneurysm evolution there is a cycle of wall degeneration and weakening in response to changing hemodynamic loading and biomechanic stress. This progressive wall degradation drives the geometrical evolution of the aneurysm until it stabilizes or ruptures. Risk factors such as location, genetics, smoking, co-morbidities, and hypertension seem to affect different components of this cycle. However, details of these interactions or their relative importance are still not clearly understood.