Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm and Alcohol Consumption

An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is an enlarged area in the lower part of the aorta, which is the major blood vessel that supplies blood to the body. Most aortic aneurysms (or aneurisms)are AAA. Because the aorta is the primary supplier of blood to the body, a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause bleeding leading to death.

Major risk factors for AAA include being over 65 years of age, smoking, being male, having atherosclerosis (clogged blood vessels), and having a family history of AAA.

Little is known about the relationship between drinking alcohol and the risk of developing AAA. Therefore, researchers studied 44,715 men and 35,569 women from the Swedish Mammography Cohort who were age 46-84 at the beginning of the study in 1998.

Alcohol consumption was measured by a food frequency questionnaire. The population was studied over a 14-year period (1,019,954 person-years), during which time 1,020 men and 194 women experienced abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Drinking alcohol (beer and wine) in moderation was associated with a significantly lower risk of developing such an aneurysm. No effect was found for the consumption of distilled spirits. There were too few heavy drinkers of any alcoholic beverage to  determine if drinking large amounts of alcohol have any effects on risks.

Disclaimer: This website is informational only and makes no suggestions or recommendations about alcohol, drinking, abdominal aortic aneurysms, or any other matter and none should be inferred.


  • Stackenberg, O., et al. Alcohol consumption, specific alcoholic beverages, and abdominal aortic aneurysm. Circulation, 2014, 130, 646-652.

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This website is informational only. It makes no suggestions or recommendations about any subject.
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