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Aortic Aneurysm Claims Life of US Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke

admin - December 15, 2010

USA Today reports on that Richard Holbrooke, US Special Ambassador to Afghanistan and Pakistan, died Monday after surgeons tried to repair an aortic aneurysm.

The aorta is the largest artery in the body that runs from the chest to the torso. The specific type of aortic aneurysm that claimed 69-year-old Holbrooke’s life appears to have been a thoracic aortic aneurysm up close to his heart. It is much less common than an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), which occurs in the region just above, at level, or below the kidneys.

Needless to say, no matter what type or how common, any aneurysm of the aorta is life threatening. Keep in mind, though, that aortic aneurysms take a long time to develop and are detectable and repairable before they become critical.

This is a fact that also resonates in the article, written by Rita Rubin of USA Today, which states that, “Aortic aneurysms don’t cause symptoms, but screening with ultrasound and sometimes CT or MRI scans can detect them before they tear, when they can be easily surgically repaired.”

 Life Line Screening has always provided access to abdominal aortic aneurysm preventive screening services for anyone, regardless of insurance status, who is concerned about their risk of AAA. However, we also recommend that everyone stay proactive with their health by scheduling regular medical checkups and talking with their physician about the risk of aortic aneurysm.

Just as Dr. Cam Patterson, Chief of Cardiology in The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, is quoted in the article, “This isn’t something that will change in months or even years,” Patterson says of aortic aneurysms. “This is something that takes decades to develop.” Holbrooke’s death “emphasizes to me that patients should look physicians in the eye and say, ‘Is this something I need to worry about?’ ”

 You can read the USA Today article in its entirety at:

Visit Life Line Screening today if you want more information risks for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), the most common type of aortic aneurysm.


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