Modeling the burden of abdominal aortic aneurysm in the USA in 2013


Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a pathological condition characterized by an abnormal, localized dilatation of the lower part of the aorta. Due to a lack of data on the natural history of AAA and risk of death from other cardiovascular diseases attributable to AAA, the true number of AAA-attributable deaths may be higher than currently estimated. This study aims to produce more realistic estimates of the burden of AAA.


A disease-modeling software, DisMod II, was used to assess the AAA burden via a multistate life table. Inputs included population, all-cause mortality, size- and sex-specific AAA prevalence, and relative risk of death estimates for persons with AAA compared with persons without AAA.


There were 2,347,339 prevalent cases of AAA in the USA in 2013 (95% CI: 2,131,964-2,524,116), resulting in 41,371 deaths attributable to AAA (95% CI: 34,090-49,234). Females constituted 21.1% of prevalent cases and 45.2% of deaths, compared with males constituting 78.9% of prevalent cases and 54.8% of deaths.


This work shows that the burden of mortality attributable to AAA is more than twice the current estimates from the American Heart Association. Females account for a disproportionately high percentage of deaths despite constituting a low percentage of prevalent cases.