The nature of the relationship between atheromatous disease and degenerative aneurysm is yet to be defined. The purpose of this study was to compare tissue Fe, Cu, Zn, and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) levels (as a marker of lipid peroxidation) in the abdominal aorta in relation to the development of aneurysmal and occlusive disease in the infrarenal aorta. This was a prospective clinical study in an institutional referral center, in hospitalized patients. Eighty male patients who underwent surgery for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) or aortic occlusive disease (AOD) were included in the study. Age, risk factors and comorbid conditions were recorded, including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, coronary artery disease, smoking, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Aortic wall biopsies were collected at operation from the anterolateral section of the infrarenal aorta. Tissue Fe, Cu, Zn, and TBARS levels were determined. The mean age of the AAA group was 66.2 (56-75) years and of the AOD group 57.8 (47-72) years (p < 0.001). There was a higher prevalence of hypertension in AAA patients compared to AOD patients (62.5%, 35% respectively; p < 0.05). The comparison of tissue Zn levels showed no significant difference. Tissue levels of Fe, Cu, and TBARS were found to be higher in the AAA group, compared with the AOD group (p<0.001 for each). These results suggest that higher oxidative stress as a result of higher Fe and Cu levels in the AAA, compared with AOD, may be one of the contributing factors in aneurysmal formation as a result of promoted wall erosion.