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Ann Vasc Surg. 1998 Nov;12(6):544-9.

Routine ultrasound screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm among 65- and 75-year-old men in a city of 200,000 inhabitants.

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  • 1Departments of Cardiovascular Surgery and Medical Imaging, Sart-Tilman University Hospital Center, Liege, Belgium.


Unruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is seldom recognized. Thus it is difficult to know whether the incidence of AAA in the general population is high enough to warrant routine screening at least in men after a certain age. Ultrasound screening studies to evaluate the incidence of AAA have been carried out in several English-speaking and Scandinavian countries. The purpose of this report is to describe the results of a study carried out in Belgium. All 65- and 75-year-old men living in the city of Liege, Belgium, were given the opportunity to undergo a free ultrasound examination. Only 41% of the target population was examined. AAA defined as abdominal aortic diameter of >30 mm was observed in 28 subjects (incidence: 3.8%). Mean abdominal aortic diameter was 34.7 mm. A diameter >29 mm was observed in 33 subjects (incidence 4.5%). Mean abdominal aortic diameter was 30.4 mm. On the basis of epidemiological data collected, a high-risk population for AAA was identified. Arterial hypertension (p < 0.05), previous coronary artery surgery (p < 0.05), and smoking (p < 0.06) were more common in subjects with than without AAA. The overall cost of screening was $18.175. The cost per AAA diagnosed was $551.00.

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