BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The prevalence and difference in risk factors for having thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms in men compared to women in the general population is not well-described. This study aimed to test the hypotheses i) that cardiovascular risk factors for thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms differ and ii) that the prevalence of thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms is sex specific.

METHODS: Aortic examination using computed tomography angiography was performed in 11,294 individuals (56% women), with a mean age of 62 [range 40-95] years participating in the Copenhagen General Population Study. Thoracic aortic aneurysms were defined as ascending aortic diameter ≥45 mm and descending aortic diameter ≥35 mm, abdominal aortic aneurysms were defined as abdominal aortic diameter ≥30 mm. Demographic data were obtained from questionnaires.

RESULTS: Overall prevalence of aortic aneurysms in the study population included: total population 2.1%, men 4.0% and women 0.7% (p-test men vs. women p<0.001). Aortic aneurysms were independently associated with male sex, increasing age, and body surface area. While thoracic aortic aneurysms were associated with hypertension, odds ratio=2.0[95%CI:1.5-2.8], abdominal aortic aneurysms were associated with hypercholesterolemia and smoking, odds ratios=2.4[95%CI:1.6-3.6] and 3.2[95%CI:1.9-5.4].

CONCLUSIONS: Subclinical aortic aneurysms are four times more prevalent in men than women. In both sexes, increasing age and body surface area are risk factors for aortic aneurysms of any anatomical location. Whereas arterial hypertension is a risk factor for thoracic aortic aneurysms, hypercholesterolemia and smoking are risk factors for abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Heart Journal Cardiovascular Imaging
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Apr 2024


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