What are the incidence and prevalence of thoracic aortic aneurysm?

Updated: Apr 02, 2021
  • Author: Elaine Tseng, MD; Chief Editor: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM  more...
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Although findings from autopsy series vary widely, the prevalence of aortic aneurysms probably exceeds 3-4% in individuals older than 65 years. Aortic aneurysms are more common in men than in women and are more common in persons with COPD than in those without lung disease.

The incidence of TAAs has been estimated to be about 6 cases per 100,000 person-years. In a systematic review and meta-analysis of the incidence and prevalence of TAAs in 22 population-based studies, Melo et al found a pooled incidence of 5.3 per 100,000 individuals per year and a prevalence of 0.16%. [15]  

Death from aneurysmal rupture is one of the 15 leading causes of death in most series. In addition, the overall prevalence of aortic aneurysms has increased significantly in the past 30 years. This is partly due to an increase in diagnosis based on the widespread use of imaging techniques. However, the prevalence of fatal and nonfatal rupture has also increased, suggesting a true increase in prevalence.

Population-based studies have suggested an incidence of acute aortic dissection of 3.5 per 100,000 persons; an incidence of thoracic aortic rupture of 3.5 per 100,000 persons; and an incidence of abdominal aortic rupture of 9 per 100,000 persons. An aging population probably plays a significant role.

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