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Circulation. 2008 Feb 26;117(8):1010-7. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.720219. Epub 2008 Feb 11.

Abdominal aortic aneurysms, increasing infrarenal aortic diameter, and risk of total mortality and incident cardiovascular disease events: 10-year follow-up data from the Cardiovascular Health Study.

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University of Pittsburgh, 230 McKee Place, Suite 600, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.



Long-term data describing small abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) and increasing infrarenal aortic diameters and their relationship to future surgical repair, total mortality, and incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, particularly among women, are sparse.


In 1992 to 1993, 4734 Cardiovascular Health Study participants > or = 65 years old had an abdominal aortic ultrasound evaluation. Of those screened, 416 had an AAA (infrarenal aortic diameter > or = 3.0 cm or an infrarenal/suprarenal ratio > or = 1.2). By 2002, there were 56 surgical AAA repairs and 10 AAA-related deaths. A single ultrasound screening demonstrated that aneurysm dilation > or = 3 cm identified 68% of all AAA repairs over the next 10 years and 6 of the 10 AAA-related deaths in 4% of the total population and that a > or = 2.5-cm dilation identified 91% of all AAA repairs and 9 of the 10 deaths in 10% of the total population. With adjusted Cox proportional hazard models, AAAs were associated with a higher risk of total mortality (hazard ratio 1.44, 95% confidence interval 1.25 to 1.66) and incident CVD events (hazard ratio 1.52, 95% confidence interval 1.25 to 1.85). Compared with diameters < 2.0 cm, infrarenal aortic diameters 2.0 to < 3.0 cm were associated with increased risk of incident CVD events in women and total mortality in men.


This study suggests that a 1-time screening of the abdominal aorta can acceptably identify individuals with a clinically significant AAA. Infrarenal aortic diameters > 2.0 cm are associated with a significantly increased risk of future CVD events and total mortality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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