Here are a few tips to reduce your risk of an aortic dissection:

  • Control blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, get a home blood pressure measuring device to help you monitor your blood pressure.
  • Don't smoke. If you do smoke, take steps to stop.
  • Maintain an ideal weight. Follow a low-salt diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and exercise regularly.
  • Wear a seat belt. This reduces the risk of traumatic injury to your chest area.
  • Work with your doctor. If you have a family history of aortic dissection, a connective tissue disorder or a bicuspid aortic valve, tell your doctor. If you have an 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.

Oct. 28, 2014