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Population screening reduces mortality rate from aortic aneurysm in men

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Background: Rupture of an unsuspected abdominal aortic aneurysm is a major cause of death in men over the age of 65 years. A significant reduction in deaths is likely to result only from higher rates of detection and increased numbers of elective aneurysm repairs. Screening of men reaching the age of 65 years has been taking place in the county of Gloucestershire, UK since 1990 and the aim of this study was to investigate any change in the mortality rate from aortic aneurysm in the screened portion of the population.

Methods: Total number of deaths from all aortic aneurysm-related causes in the county's population was calculated from hospital and post-mortem records, together with computerized death certificate records, for the years 1994–1998. The overall number of aneurysm-related deaths in men aged 65–73 years, who have been progressively influenced by the screening programme, was compared with that for men of all other ages.

Results: The total number of aneurysm-related deaths in men aged 65–73 years decreased progressively year by year between 1994 and 1998; this reduction is highly statistically significant (P < 0ยท001). No such change was observed in the unscreened part of the population.

Conclusion: Screening for asymptomatic abdominal aortic aneurysm results in a significant reduction in numbers of deaths from all aneurysm-related causes in the screened portion of the male population.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2000

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