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Br J Surg. 2013 Feb;100(3):367-72. doi: 10.1002/bjs.8984. Epub 2012 Nov 28.

Current prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysm in 70-year-old women.

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Department of Surgical Sciences, Section of Vascular Surgery, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.



Screening elderly men for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) to reduce mortality from rupture is evidence-based. For women epidemiological data on AAA are scarce, and the evidence for screening is insufficient. The aim of this population-based study was to determine the current prevalence of AAA and risk factors among 70-year-old women.


All 70-year-old women identified through the National Population Registry in the two neighbouring counties of Uppsala and Dalarna were invited to a free ultrasound examination of the abdominal aorta. An AAA was defined as a maximum infrarenal aortic diameter of at least 30 mm.


Of 6925 women invited, 5140 (74·2 per cent) accepted the invitation to be screened. Among these, 19 AAAs were detected (0·4 (95 per cent confidence interval (c.i.) 0·2 to 0·5) per cent). In the invited cohort 12 women (0·2 (0·1 to 0·3) per cent) had undergone previous AAA repair (11) or had a known AAA under surveillance (1). Thus, the total prevalence was estimated at 0·5 (0·4 to 0·7) per cent. Smoking was strongly associated with AAA; 18 (95 per cent) of 19 women with a screen-detected AAA had a history of smoking compared with 44·2 per cent of those with a normal aorta (odds ratio 20·29, 95 per cent c.i. 2·70 to 152·65). The prevalence of AAA was 0·03 (0 to 0·1) per cent among never smokers, 0·4 (0·2 to 0·8) per cent among former smokers and 2·1 (1·0 to 3·7) per cent among current smokers.


Screening 70-year-old women who do not smoke is likely to be futile, thus ruling out population screening of women for AAA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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