NI AAA Screening Programme Office
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What is an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)?

The aorta is the main artery that supplies blood to your body. It runs from your heart down through your chest and abdomen (belly).

As some people get older, the wall of the aorta in the abdomen can become weak and balloon out to form an aneurysm, rather like a bulge in a worn tyre. This is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).

If you have an AAA you may not have any symptoms. This means you cannot tell if you have one, as you will not feel any pain or notice anything different. You may feel completely healthy.

Aorta Illustration

Key facts

  • An AAA is a weakening and expansion¬†of the aorta, the main blood vessel in the body.
  • Large AAAs are rare but can be very serious.
  • Approximately 100 people in Northern Ireland die every year from ruptured AAAs.

More information

NAAASP Video: What is an AAA?

NHS Choices

Family Doctor