Aneurysm screening for men

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 14, 2005

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Men between the ages of 65 and 75 who are or have been smokers should have a one-time ultrasound to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysms, says a new recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The recommendation is published in the Feb. 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

This is the first time the task force has recommended such screening. New evidence shows that screening and surgery to repair large abdominal aortic aneurysms are effective at reducing the number of male deaths caused by this condition.

Estimates indicate that between 59% and 83% of patients with ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms die before reaching the hospital and having surgery. Men age 65 or older who currently are or have been regular smokers are at the highest risk for abdominal aortic aneurysms. Although few studies have been conducted in women, the published research indicates that women are at low risk for aneurysms.

Each year, the condition causes about 9,000 deaths in the United States.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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