The largest artery within your body is known as the aorta. The term aortic dissection is used to refer to the tearing of tissue within the innermost layer of your aorta. Blood then flows between the layers of the aorta, widening the gap. This can quickly be fatal if the heart doesn’t get enough blood.
It could also lead to a total rupture within the aorta, which causes rapid internal bleeding — often killing the patient. The diagnosis process after detecting initial symptoms consists of either a CT scan or ultrasound. On occasion, other methods such as X-rays may also be used to check if an aortic dissection is indeed present. There are many things that can cause aortic dissection, and today we’re going to look at eight common risk factors.
1. Chronic high blood pressure
The first risk factor that we’re going to go over in this article is chronic hypertension, also known as chronic high blood pressure. High blood pressure has been known to cause aortic dissection as the increased stress put upon the aorta could weaken the inner walls, making an aortic dissection more likely.
It’s worth noting that many patients are just fine despite their hypertension, but understanding that they’re at an increased risk of aortic dissection is essential so they don’t take on strenuous activities that may trigger it.
Older men — those above the age of 60, especially in men in their 70s — with hypertension are at a much higher risk of developing aortic dissection in comparison to women of the same age or younger men. Early detection and treatment drastically increase the survivability rate. Those with hypertension should seek immediate treatment if faced with symptoms of aortic dissection.