Epidemiology of aortic aneurysm in the United States

J Clin Epidemiol. 1995 Nov;48(11):1289-98. doi: 10.1016/0895-4356(95)00045-3.


Recent apparent increases in occurrence of aortic aneurysm were reported for abdominal aortic aneurysm from several countries. In order to assess U.S. trends, an analysis of mortality and hospitalization data from the National Center for Health Statistics for aortic aneurysm in the United States in 1979-1992 was performed. In 1991, 16,696 deaths were attributed to aortic aneurysm, abdominal aneurysm accounting for 52%. Between 1979 and 1990, dissecting aneurysm death rates showed inconsistent changes in males and slight increases in females. Age-adjusted rates were higher in blacks than whites, and in males than females. Death rates for abdominal aneurysms showed slight decreases in white males and slight increases in black males and white females. Rates were higher in whites than blacks, and in males than females. The number of hospital discharges with a first-listed diagnosis of aortic aneurysm increased from 39,000 in 1979 to 67,000 in 1992. The rate of diagnoses increased from 1979 to 1984 with no consistent change thereafter for total and abdominal aneurysms, which comprised over 75% of total diagnoses. The number of all-listed aortic aneurysm resections with graft replacement increased from 10,000 in 1979 to 40,000 in 1988 with no consistent change thereafter. Increased utilization of diagnostic ultrasound of the abdomen and retroperitoneum leading to improved case finding for abdominal aneurysms may have been one cause of increasing hospital discharge rates prior to 1985. Continued monitoring of national data on mortality and morbidity from aortic aneurysms is desirable to assess effects of diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Aneurysm / diagnosis
  • Aortic Aneurysm / epidemiology*
  • Aortic Aneurysm / surgery
  • Cause of Death
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / trends
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Racial Groups
  • Sex Distribution
  • United States / epidemiology