Leicester Clinical Trials Unit




Email: phast@leicester.ac.uk

Key Information

Trial Title


A feasibility study to evaluate acceptability, uptake and effect of combined peripheral arterial disease, high blood pressure and abdominal aortic aneurysm screening (PHAST-F)

Chief Investigator

Professor Matt Bown


University of Leicester


National Institute for Health Research Programme Grants for Applied Research (NIHR PGfAR)

Trial Registration Number



Cardiovascular (CV) disease is the leading cause of death in England. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and/or high blood pressure (BP) affect between 30-40% of men aged 65. A third of these men do not know they have these diseases. Interventions to reduce CV risk are recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for individuals with PAD or high BP.

Men are invited to an ultrasound scan by the UK NHS AAA screening programmes when they are 65 to check them for an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Attendance for AAA screening is good, with eight out of ten men attending (78% uptake). The AAA screening programmes and their infrastructure therefore presents a good opportunity to screen for other CV diseases, such as PAD and/or high BP, with minimal extra effort and cost.

We know from speaking to men who have been for AAA screening that they think it is a good idea to check for other conditions at the same time. Women are not invited for AAA screening because they rarely get AAAs and the NHS does not currently offer AAA screening for women. This means a different approach will be required to screen women for PAD and high BP. Further information available: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm screening

The Peripheral arterial disease, High blood pressure and Aneurysm Screening Trial (PHAST) is a research programme composed of three work packages (or stages) and will assess whether CV health can be improved by adding screening for PAD and high BP to the NHS AAA screening programmes.

Work Package Two (WP2) will assess the feasibility of AAA+PAD+BP screening (known as ‘PHAST-F’). Uptake via attendance and disease prevalence will be quantified in men invited for screening. A qualitative study will assess feasibility and acceptability from the perspective of involved staff, and screening acceptability, experiences and responses to screening outcomes for men and women screened. Clinical follow up will examine uptake and adherence to CV risk management, and quality of life. Women will be included to generate pilot data for a trial for women.

Privacy notice for PHAST-F

The PHAST website is currently under development.

Number of Participants

n= 2934a men invited (via invitation letter) to either AAA or AAA+PAD+BP screening
n= 2200 attending for screening (either for AAA+PAD+BP or AAA alone)
n= 1100 purposive sampling, consented to follow-up study
n= 220 screen positive with PAD and/or high BP with additional GP referral for CV risk management
Women: (invited via different pathway) for PAD+BP screening (no control)
n= 2934 women invited for screening
n= 2200 attending for screening (PAD+BP)
n= 1100 purposive sampling, consented to follow-up study
n= 220 screen positive with PAD and/or high BP with additional referral for CV risk management

Trial Design

Observational cross-sectional multicentre feasibility study

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