Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is commonly restricted to men. Recent studies have indicated a possible increase in deaths due to ruptured AAA in women, and a higher rate of rupture in women than in men. The present report details results from a randomized controlled trial that assessed the effects of screening women for AAA.
Some 9342 women aged 65–80 years were entered into the trial and randomized to age-matched screen and control groups. A single ultrasonographic scan was offered to women in the screening arm of the study. Women with an AAA received follow-up scans, and were considered for elective surgery if certain criteria were met.
The prevalence of AAA was six times lower in women (1·3 per cent) than in men (7·6 per cent). Over 5- and 10-year follow-up intervals, the incidence of rupture was the same in the screened and control groups of women.
Screening women for AAA is neither clinically indicated nor economically viable. © 2002 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd