High prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysm in a primary care screening programme

Authors

  • Dr A. P. M. Boll,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Surgery, Division of Vascular and Transplant Surgery, St Radboud University Hospital, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    • Department of Surgery, St Radboud University Hospital, Code 410 PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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  • A. L. M. Verbeek,

    1. Department of Medical Informatics, Epidemiology and Statistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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  • E. H. van de Lisdonk,

    1. Department of General Practice and Social Medicine, University of Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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  • J. A. van der Vliet

    1. Department of Surgery, Division of Vascular and Transplant Surgery, St Radboud University Hospital, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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Abstract

Background

The mortality rate associated with ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) remains high. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of population screening for AAA.

Methods

In an area with a mixed rural and industrialized population of 60 000 inhabitants, all 23 general practitioners (GPs) participated. The GPs selected from their patient lists men aged 60–80 years. Men whose condition was suitable for aortic surgery were invited for screening by a single postal letter. All men responding had aortic ultrasonography in or close to the GP surgery. Diagnosis of AAA was established when the aortic diameter was 30 mm or greater. Referral for surgery was advised for an aortic diameter of 50 mm or greater.

Results

Of 2914 invitations, 2419 men had ultrasonography, resulting in an attendance rate of 83·0 per cent. A total of 2416 aortic measurements were made; 196 aortic aneurysms were diagnosed (prevalence 8·1 per cent). In 40 men the aortic diameter was over 50 mm.

Conclusion

Ultrasonographic screening for AAA is feasible in a primary care setting. © 1998 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd

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