An aortic aneurysm is a dangerous condition associated with an enlarged aorta, according to WebMD. The aneurysm develops when a weakened section of the aorta, which carries blood from the heart to the body, bulges outward. If the aneurysm ruptures, bleeding and quick death can occur.
The aorta is normally able to expand and shrink, but hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and the normal aging process can weaken sections of the artery wall, explains WebMD. Most people do not experience symptoms of aortic aneurysms, but individuals with symptoms report having intermittent or continuous chest, back or abdominal pain. Aortic aneurysms can also lead to blood clot formations. The clots can break off and travel to the brain, causing a stroke, or to the abdomen and legs, blocking blood flow.