Background: Aortic aneurysm and dissection are important causes of death in older people. Ruptured aneurysms show catastrophic fatality rates reaching near 80%. Few population-based mortality studies have been published in the world and none in Brazil. The objective of the present study was to use multiple-cause-of-death methodology in the analysis of mortality trends related to aortic aneurysm and dissection in the state of Sao Paulo, between 1985 and 2009. Methods: We analyzed mortality data from the Sao Paulo State Data Analysis System, selecting all death certificates on which aortic aneurysm and dissection were listed as a cause-of-death. The variables sex, age, season of the year, and underlying, associated or total mentions of causes of death were studied using standardized mortality rates, proportions and historical trends. Statistical analyses were performed by chi-square goodness-of-fit and H Kruskal-Wallis tests, and variance analysis. The joinpoint regression model was used to evaluate changes in age-standardized rates trends. A p value less than 0.05 was regarded as significant. Results: Over a 25-year period, there were 42,615 deaths related to aortic aneurysm and dissection, of which 36,088 (84.7%) were identified as underlying cause and 6,527 (15.3%) as an associated cause-of-death. Dissection and ruptured aneurysms were considered as an underlying cause of death in 93% of the deaths. For the entire period, a significant increased trend of age-standardized death rates was observed in men and women, while certain non-significant decreases occurred from 1996/2004 until 2009. Abdominal aortic aneurysms and aortic dissections prevailed among men and aortic dissections and aortic aneurysms of unspecified site among women. In 1985 and 2009 death rates ratios of men to women were respectively 2.86 and 2.19, corresponding to a difference decrease between rates of 23.4%. For aortic dissection, ruptured and non-ruptured aneurysms, the overall mean ages at death were, respectively, 63.2, 68.4 and 71.6 years; while, as the underlying cause, the main associated causes of death were as follows: hemorrhages (in 43.8%/40.5%/13.9%); hypertensive diseases (in 49.2%/22.43%/24.5%) and atherosclerosis (in 14.8%/25.5%/15.3%); and, as associated causes, their principal overall underlying causes of death were diseases of the circulatory (55.7%), and respiratory (13.8%) systems and neoplasms (7.8%). A significant seasonal variation, with highest frequency in winter, occurred in deaths identified as underlying cause for aortic dissection, ruptured and non-ruptured aneurysms. Conclusions: This study introduces the methodology of multiple-causes-of-death to enhance epidemiologic knowledge of aortic aneurysm and dissection in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The results presented confer light to the importance of mortality statistics and the need for epidemiologic studies to understand unique trends in our own population.