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  NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening Programme  
Last Updated April 2014

About AAA Screening

AAA screening is a simple ultrasound test which the NHS offers free of charge to all men in the year they turn 65.

Men are six times more likely to have this type of aneurysm than women. The chance of having an aneurysm increases with age. Your chance of having an abdominal aortic aneurysm can also increase if you smoke, you have high blood pressure or your brother, sister or parent has, or has had, an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

There are four possible results from the ultrasound scan:

NORMAL :: < 3cm :: No further screening required

SMALL aneurysm found :: 3cm - 4.4cm :: Follow-up scans every 12 months

MEDIUM aneurysm found :: 4.5 - 5.4cm :: Follow-up scans every 3 months

LARGE aneurysm found :: 5.5cm and larger :: Specialist referral (about 1/100)

Patient Information Leaflet

Who is Tested?

All men aged 65 years. If you have never been screened and you are over 65 years, you may request a screening.


How Common is AAA

It is estimated that around 1 in 25 men aged between 65 and 74 in England have an abdominal aortic aneurysm. This is about 4% of men in the age group.



There is no risk from the scan itself.

However, a small proportion of men who are screened (about 1 in 10,000) will not survive surgery for an aneurysm that was detected through screening, but which may never have burst if it had been left untreated. Screening does not completely remove the risk of an aneurysm bursting, but it is the best method of protection against this condition.





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Last Update: 31 January 2008