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Women unlikely to benefit from national AAA screening

last modified Oct 08, 2018 01:53 PM

Prof Simon Thompson, Dr Michael Sweeting, Dr Katya Masconi, and others  have published important conclusions about screening women for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) in The Lancet. Funded and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the study includes researchers from Imperial College London, the University of Leicester, the University of Sheffield and Brunel University London.

In 2009, the NHS introduced ultrasound screening, in men aged 65 and over, to successfully detect and treat AAA, which arises when the main blood vessel swells in the abdomen, and is often symptomless until the point of rupture.

The research group wanted to see if UK women, who are less likely to have AAAs, could also benefit from a similar screening programme. However, the Screening Women for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (SWAN) study found that for every 3,900 women invited for AAA screening, only 12 new AAAs would be detected preventing one AAA death at a cost to the NHS of £140,000.

For more information about the project click here. For more information about the NHS AAA screening programme click here.

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