"It has often been said that the aorta is like the Mississippi River of the human body. It is the largest and main artery in the body and goes up from the heart, turns downward through the chest, and runs into the abdomen. All of the other main arteries in the body branch off from the aorta. An aortic aneurysm occurs when part of the aorta enlarges and therefore weakens. The aorta is usually the size of a garden hose, but an aneurysm can make it grow to the size of a can of soda. An aortic aneurysm can be a life-threatening condition which, if allowed to get to the bursting point, can often lead to almost immediate death."
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