George C. Scott … Died From Aortic Aneurysm

The actor George C. Scott, celebrated for his performance in the title role of the movie "Patton" and many other roles on the screen and stage, died on September 22, 1999. One news source stated: "…George C. Scott died of a stomach hemorrhage….Scott had been warned by his doctor about the risk of rupturing a blood vessel in his stomach but delayed treatment."

Mr. Scott did not die of a bleeding stomach. He had a ruptured aortic aneurysm, according to the Associated Press who quoted Mr. Scott's "publicist and friend Jim Mahoney." Mr. Mahoney said that the actor ‘had never been treated properly' for an aneurysm that he suffered in 1996."

Common in Older Men

This type of aneurysm involves the aorta, the great artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The aorta bulges at the site of the aneurysm like a weak spot on an old worn tire. Although aortic aneurysms can develop anywhere along the length of the aorta, the majority are located along the abdominal portion of the aorta.

Most abdominal aneurysms are located below the level of the renal arteries, the vessels that leave the aorta to go to the kidneys and two-thirds of abdominal aneurysms are not limited to just the aorta but extend from the aorta into one or both of the iliac arteries.

Most aortic aneurysms are fusiform and are shaped like a spindle ("fusus" means spindle in Latin) with widening all around the circumference of the aorta. The inside walls of aneurysms are often lined with a laminated thrombus (a blood clot that is layered like a piece of plywood).