What can I do to keep my aorta from enlarging?

I’m a 59-year-old lady who has an aorta of 4.0; my BP is usually 120/70; and my heart rate is low – always has been in the upper 40’s. Sometimes I’m in the 60’s range but not often. I also have a Venous Sinus Thrombosis and am on Coumadin. My concern is to do everything I can to stop the aorta from getting larger throughout the years. I don’t eat any sugar or flour, nor do I drink alcohol. They said I inherited this. My father had heart disease. My cholesterol is also good. But the cardiologist wants to put me on blood pressure medicine Losartan 50Mg, and Atorvastatin 10 mg. I don’t want to do either one and would rather just add in a baby aspirin a day and start doing 30 minutes of cardio 4 times a week. My BP is fine, my cholesterol is fine, so why start drugs? I started taking an antidepressant as needed because of my stress so I’m thinking that should help with the aorta. Then I read if taking Vitamin C regularly that can lessen stress on the aorta by putting a shield around it so slows down the process of enlarging. What do you think? Plus this Losartan is prescribed at night. Really when I have my sleep CPAP machine on, do I need to lower my BP during that time? I don’t think so. I would prefer waking up in the morning.

Submitted by Cathy from Boston, Massachusetts on 07/23/2014

by Atasu Nayak, MD

Thanks for the question. Your aorta is mildly dilated. I do not know your height. One should monitor the size of your aortic root and ascending aorta in serial MRA/CTA studies. You also need to continue modifying your risk factors as you are doing. Your HR and BP are ok now. Please monitor them and your lipid profile as advised by your cardiologist. Antidepressant and vitamins have no role in aortic dilatation. Following up with your cardiologist regularly for the aortic dilatation is important.