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Healthc Policy. 2008 Nov;4(2):75-83.

Vascular ultrasound screening for asymptomatic abdominal aortic aneurysm.

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  • 1Clinical Epidemiologist with the Medical Advisory Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Toronto, ON.


This health technology assessment examines vascular ultrasound screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) in asymptomatic populations. Screening reduces the incidence of AAA ruptures, rates of emergency surgical repair and AAA-attributable mortality in males ages 65 to 74. The benefit of screening women has not been established. Ontario data suggest that AAA is underdiagnosed in women, and that women are systematically undertreated. Targeting smokers for screening was found to maximize cost-effectiveness. Economic analysis found that screening may generate savings from the avoidance of emergency surgeries. Based on these findings, the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee has recommended screening for AAA in both male and female ever-smokers ages 65 to 74.

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