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Br J Surg. 2015 Jul;102(8):902-6. doi: 10.1002/bjs.9825. Epub 2015 Apr 28.

Baseline prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral arterial disease and hypertension in men aged 65-74 years from a population screening study (VIVA trial).

Author information

Vascular Research Unit, Department of Vascular Surgery, Viborg Hospital, Viborg, Denmark.
Health Economics, Department for Public Health and Department for Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
Department of Thoracic, Heart and Vascular Surgery, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.



Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening has been introduced into some health systems and could easily be supplemented with broader vascular screening. The aim of this study was to evaluate the screening set-up and investigate combined screening for AAA, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and possible hypertension (HT), and detection rates.


This observational study was based on the intervention arm of a screening trial in 25 083 Danish men aged 65-74 years. A combined screening programme for AAA, PAD and HT was offered at local hospitals. Participants with positive test results were offered secondary prophylaxis and/or referred to their general practitioner. The programme set-up included decentralized screening by three mobile teams at 14 venues. Diagnostic criteria were: aortic diameter at least 30 mm for AAA, ankle : brachial pressure index below 0·9 or above 1·4 for PAD, and BP exceeding 160/100 mmHg for HT.


Overall, 18 749 men (uptake 74·7 per cent) attended the screening. An AAA was diagnosed in 3·3 (95 per cent c.i. 3·0 to 3·6) per cent, PAD in 10·9 (10·5 to 11·4) per cent and HT in 10·5 (10·0 to 10·9) per cent. Lipid-lowering and/or antiplatelet treatment was initiated in 34·8 per cent of the participants.


Preventive actions were started in one-third of the attenders. The long-term effect of this on morbidity and mortality is an important part of future analysis. The trial confirms that the prevalence of AAA in Denmark has decreased only slightly in the past decade, from 4·0 to 3·3 per cent, in contrast to other nations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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