What Are the Causes of Main Artery Enlargement?

What Are the Causes of Main Artery Enlargement?

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The phrase "main artery enlargement" is a layman's term to describe an aortic aneurysm. The root cause of this bulge in the aortic wall is a condition known as atherosclerosis.


The aorta is the main artery of the body transporting blood from the heart, through the abdomen, and then dividing into each leg. When the aorta wall is weakened it may enlarge, or balloon, into an aortic aneurysm.


"Aortic enlargements can be hereditary or caused by injury, infection or a congenital weakness in the connective tissue of the artery wall," according to Dr. Donnica Moore. "Cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, or clogging and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) can make the condition worse."


Atherosclerosis is an accumulation of fatty substances that clog the interior lining of arteries. Along with smoking, this condition hardens the arteries, making them less flexible and more susceptible to aneurysm development.


Medical attention to the causes of main artery enlargement is paramount. "Treatment for aneurysms is important because they can burst or rupture, causing serious internal bleeding and, if not treated, death," says the Baylor University College of Medicine.


Treatment will include medication to decrease cholesterol and high blood pressure. "It is very important that those with aortic disease do not smoke either actively or passively," according to Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. A low-fat diet will need to be undertaken.


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