Population-Based Risk Factors for Ascending, Arch, Descending, and Abdominal Aortic Dilations for 60-74–Year-Old Individuals

Lasse M. Obel*, Axel C. Diederichsen, Flemming H. Steffensen, Lars Frost, Jess Lambrechtsen, Martin Busk, Grazina Urbonaviciene, Kenneth Egstrup, Marek Karon, Lars M. Rasmussen, Oke Gerke, Anders S. Bovling, Jes S. Lindholt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Aortic dilations (ectasias and aneurysms) may occur on any segment of the aorta. Pathogenesis varies between locations, suggesting that etiology and risk factors may differ. Despite this discrepancy, guidelines recommend screening of the whole aorta if 1 segmental dilation is discovered. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the most dominant predictors for dilations at the ascending, arch, descending, and abdominal part of the aorta, and to establish comprehensive risk factor profiles for each aortic segment. Methods: Individuals aged 60-74 years were randomly selected to participate in DANCAVAS I+II (Danish Cardiovascular Multicenter Screening Trials). Participants underwent cardiovascular risk assessments, including blood samples, blood pressure readings, medical records, and noncontrast computed tomography scans. Adjusted odds ratios for potential risk factors of dilations were estimated by multivariate logistic analyses. Results: The study population consisted of 14,989 participants (14,235 men, 754 women) with an average age of 68 ± 4 years. The highest adjusted odd ratios for having any aortic dilation were observed when coexisting aortic dilations were present. Other noteworthy predictors included coexisting iliac dilations, hypertension, increasing body surface area, male sex, familial disposition, and atrial fibrillation, which were present in various combinations for the different aortic parts. Smoking and acute myocardial infarction were inversely associated with ascending and abdominal dilations. Diabetes was a shared protective factor. Conclusions: Risk factors differ for aortic dilations between locations. The most dominant predictor for having a dilation at any aortic segment is the presence of an aortic dilation elsewhere. This supports current guidelines when recommending a full screening of the aorta if a focal aortic dilation is discovered.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)201-211
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American College of Cardiology Foundation


  • abdominal and thoracic aorta
  • aortic dilations and aneurysms
  • epidemiology
  • population-based
  • prevalence
  • risk factors


Dive into the research topics of 'Population-Based Risk Factors for Ascending, Arch, Descending, and Abdominal Aortic Dilations for 60-74–Year-Old Individuals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this