The most important way to help prevent an aortic dissection is to keep your blood pressure under control. Here are a few tips to reduce your risk:

  • Control your blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, get a home blood pressure measuring device to help you monitor and keep your blood pressure well controlled.
  • Don't smoke. Or, if you do, take steps to stop.
  • Maintain an ideal weight. Follow a low-salt diet and exercise regularly.
  • Wear a seat belt. This reduces the risk of traumatic injury to your chest area.
  • Keep your doctor well-informed. If you have a family history of aortic dissection, a connective tissue disorder or a bicuspid aortic valve, let your doctor know. If you have a known aortic aneurysm, find out how often you need monitoring and if surgery is necessary to repair your aneurysm.

If you have a genetic condition that increases your risk of aortic dissection, your doctor may recommend medications, even if your blood pressure is normal. Talk to your doctor about which method or combination of methods is best for you.

Nov. 11, 2011