Persons with depressive symptoms are at higher risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm

Linn Åldstedt Nyrønning has looked at new potential risk factors for abdominal aortic aneurysm.


  1. Female sex hormones affect risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm less that traditional risk factors.
  2. Depressive symptoms are independently associated with increased abdominal aortic aneurysm risk.
  3. Aortic size index has limited value in prediction of abdominal aortic aneurysms.


Thesis: Risk of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – With emphasis on women
Candidate: Linn Åldstedt Nyrønning
Time: April 30, 2020 at 12:15
Place: Online-based solution, due to the covid-19 situation
Link to university website (in Norwegian)


(1) Low estradiol concentrations are not significantly linked to higher risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm in women. Smoking, hypertension and coronary heart disease are far more important risk factors. Women who used postmenopausal hormone therapy had a hazard ratio of 0.58 for abdominal aortic aneurysm, but this risk reduction was not statistically significant.

The study uses data from the second HUNT study. 201 of the 20,000 included postmenopausal women were identified with abdominal aortic aneurysms during the 18-year follow-up period.

(2) Persons with depressive symptoms have increased risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm, independent of other risk factors. The study includes almost 60,000 HUNT participants aged 50 years or older. 742 of them had a verified abdominal aortic aneurysm during the median follow-up of 13 years. After adjusting for age, smoking, overweight, history of coronary heart disease, diabetes and hypertension, a high degree of depressive symptoms were associated with 32% increased risk.

(3) Aortic diameter divided by body surface area − aortic size index − does not predict risk of abdominal aortic aneurysms better than aortic diameter alone. Both measurements were significant predictors, with aortic diameter being the superior one.

In the Tromsø Study, 4161 men and women had their aortic diameter assessed by ultrasound in both 1994 and 2001 and were included in this study. 124 of them were diagnosed with incident abdominal aortic aneurysm at the second survey.


(1) Nyrønning, L. Å., Videm, V., Romundstad, P. R., Hultgren, R., & Mattsson, E. (2019). Female sex hormones and risk of incident abdominal aortic aneurysm in Norwegian women in the HUNT studyJournal of vascular surgery70(5), 1436-1445.

(2) Nyrønning, L. Å., Stenman, M., Hultgren, R., Albrektsen, G., Videm, V., & Mattsson, E. (2019). Symptoms of Depression and Risk of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: A HUNT StudyJournal of the American Heart Association8(21), e012535.

(3) Nyrønning, L. Å., Skoog, P., Videm, V., & Mattsson, E. (2020). Is the aortic size index relevant as a predictor of abdominal aortic aneurysm? A population-based prospective study: the Tromsø studyScandinavian Cardiovascular Journal, 1-9.

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