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Preventing Aortic Dissection

You can reduce your risk of aortic dissection by making lifestyle changes that include monitoring and controlling your blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and wearing a seatbelt while in a car.

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Learn more about how these lifestyle changes can help you prevent aortic dissection.

Monitor and Control Blood Pressure

Chronic, uncontrolled high blood pressure can weaken the inner, middle, and outer layers of the aorta, which can lead to an aortic dissection. Keeping your blood pressure under control is the best way to help prevent an aortic dissection.

Our doctors recommend scheduling regular annual checkups, which include getting your blood pressure measured. If you have chronic high blood pressure, or hypertension, your doctor may prescribe medication to lower it. Medication should always be taken as prescribed by your doctor.

A manual or electronic measuring device allows you to monitor your blood pressure at home and report any sustained changes to your doctor. Your doctor can explain how and when to take your blood pressure readings.

If you are pregnant, your doctor checks your blood pressure regularly. Pregnancy-induced hypertension is a sign of a condition called preeclampsia. Rarely, preeclampsia can lead to aortic dissection.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity can increase a person’s risk of high blood pressure. To maintain a healthy weight, doctors recommend following a balanced, nutritious diet and getting regular exercise. A diet that is high in salt can raise your blood pressure, so limiting your sodium intake can help. Specialists at NYU Langone’s Weight Management Program offer nutritional counseling and treatments that can help you reach a healthy weight.

Quit Smoking

Smoking can raise blood pressure. If you smoke, your doctor can refer you to NYU Langone’s Tobacco Cessation Programs. Strategies include cognitive behavioral techniques, such as finding alternatives to habits that prevent you from quitting. Specialists can also help you learn relaxation exercises to prevent your blood pressure from rising, offer nicotine replacement, or prescribe antidepressants that help minimize withdrawal symptoms.

Wear a Seat Belt

Trauma to the chest, such as hitting the steering wheel during a car accident, can cause an aortic dissection. You can help protect your chest by wearing a seat belt every time you ride in a car.

Our Research and Education in Aortic Dissection

Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.