Sex affects the presentation, treatment, and outcomes of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Although AAAs are less prevalent in women, at least in the general population, women with an AAA have a poorer prognosis in comparison to men. Sex differences in the genetic predisposition for aneurysm disease remain to be established. In this study we investigated the familial risk of AAA for women compared to men. All living AAA patients included in a 2004-2012 prospective database were invited to the multidisciplinary vascular/genetics outpatient clinic between 2009 and 2012 for assessment of family history using detailed questionnaires. AAA risk for male and female relatives was calculated separately and stratified by sex of the AAA patients. Families of 568 AAA patients were investigated and 22.5% of the patients had at least one affected relative. Female relatives had a 2.8-fold and male relatives had a 1.7-fold higher risk than the estimated sex-specific population risk. Relatives of female AAA patients had a higher aneurysm risk than relatives of male patients (9.0 vs 5.9%, p = 0.022), corresponding to 5.5- and 2.0-fold increases in aneurysm risk in the female and male relatives, respectively. The risk for aortic aneurysm in relatives of AAA patients is higher than expected from population risk. The excess risk is highest for the female relatives of AAA patients and for the relatives of female AAA patients. These findings endorse targeted AAA family screening for female and male relatives of all AAA patients.

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Keywords abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), aneurysm screening, family history, family screening, genetics, risk factors, sex differences
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Journal Vascular Medicine: the international journal of research review and clinical practice
van de Luijtgaarden, K.M, Rouwet, E.V, Hoeks, S.E, Stolker, R.J, Verhagen, H.J.M, & Majoor-Krakauer, D.F. (2017). Risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) among male and female relatives of AAA patients. Vascular Medicine: the international journal of research review and clinical practice, 22(2), 112–118. doi:10.1177/1358863X16686409