About the aorta What is aortic disease? Statistics Aortic disease is one of the top ten causes of death of men in the developed world. There are approximately 15,000 aortic surgical procedures performed annually in the UK, of which around 75% are in men. Aneurysm of the aorta (weakening of the structure and subsequent stretching of the wall with risk of bursting and death) is the commonest aortic problem. It occurs mostly in older men – although a significant proportion of aneurysms occur in young adults (20-40 years) who have genetic disorders.