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Each year, more than 15,000 Americans die from ruptured aortic aneurysms. Most people don’t realize they have an aortic aneurysm — a balloon-like bulge in the heart’s main artery that hinders the heart’s ability to pump blood to the rest of the body — until it breaks open, causing life-threatening internal bleeding.
People living in the Midwest are at a higher risk for developing aortic diseases that can cause aneurysms.
“It’s called the silent killer,” said Jack Bell, of Boonville, Missouri, who was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm when he received a free screening offered by MU Health Care. “You could have one right now and not even know it until it ruptured.”
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