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Abdominal aortic aneurysms in the New Zealand Maori population

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Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is believed to be a rare disease in people of non‐European descent. Maori, New Zealand's indigenous people, are thought to originate from South East Asia, so their incidence of AAA might also be expected to be low. The aim was to investigate the incidence and phenotypic factors associated with AAA in the New Zealand Maori population.


A retrospective study was performed using the audit database of the New Zealand Society of Vascular Surgeons. Age‐standardized rates of admission and death were calculated for Maori and non‐Maori.


Maori comprised 3·9 per cent of the population who had an AAA repaired, similar to the percentage of the Maori population aged over 65 years. However, the death rate from AAA in Maori was 2·4 times the rate in non‐Maori. Maori were younger at diagnosis than non‐Maori (65·2 versus 71·8 years; P < 0·001), had more emergency procedures (46·6 versus 30·2 per cent; P = 0·018) and a significantly higher proportion of Maori admissions were for a ruptured aneurysm.


Maori had a higher mortality rate from AAA than non‐Maori New Zealanders. Although admission rates between Maori and non‐Maori were similar, the earlier age of onset and the increased proportion of ruptured aneurysms may indicate that the disease is more severe in Maori. Copyright © 2003 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Surgery, Dunedin School of Medicine, Dunedin, New Zealand 2: Department of Public Health and General Practice, Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Publication date: November 1, 2003

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