Yesterday like many of you, I was shocked after I learned ‘MARTIN’ star Tommy Ford, passed away suddenly. Ford made Atlanta his home. As a result, we would connect at industry events from time to time although we did not know one another personally. After hearing reports of his death, I immediately asked the question what happened? With advancements in modern medicine and according to average life statistics, dying of chronic health related issues at 52 can be avoided. After doing some research, I learned that Ford died of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).

What Is An Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?

ds01194_-my00076_im04478_mcdc7_abaneurysmthu_jpgI’ve heard of brain aneurysms and have even known men who have passed away due to this complication. However, I’ve never heard of an abdominal aneurysm and immediately took to the web to educate myself. According to the Mayo Clinic, “an abdominal aortic aneurysm is an enlarged area in the lower part of the aorta, the major blood vessel that supplies blood to the body. The aorta, about
the thickness of a garden hose, runs from your heart through the center of your chest and abdomen.

Because the aorta is the body’s main supplier of blood, a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening bleeding.

Depending on the size and the rate at which your abdominal aortic aneurysm is growing, treatment may vary from watchful waiting to emergency surgery.”

AAA Causes

The exact cause of an abdominal aortic aneurysm is unknown however it is most often seen in males over age 60 who have one or more risk factors.

  • are obese or overweight
  • have a family history of heart conditions and diseases
  • have diabetes
  • have high blood pressure, especially if you’re between 35 and 60 years old
  • have high cholesterol or fatty buildup in the blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
  • live a sedentary lifestyle
  • have had trauma to your abdomen or other damage to your midsection
  • smoke tobacco products

What Are The Symptoms?

Most aneurysms have no symptoms unless they rupture. If an AAA does rupture, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • sudden pain in your abdomen or back
  • pain spreading from your abdomen or back to your pelvis, legs, or buttocks
  • clammy or sweaty skin
  • increased heart rate
  • shock or loss of consciousness

For more information about this condition, please visit the Mayo Clinic website.



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