New research shows most women unlikely to benefit from national AAA screening

New research involving our researchers published in The Lancet, which was funded and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), has come to important conclusions about screening women for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs).

The NHS introduced ultrasound screening in men aged 65 and over in 2009 to detect and treat the condition – which arises when the main blood vessel swells in the abdomen, and is symptomless until the point of rupture. Since the launch, the programme has been successfully screening and identifying men at risk of an AAA.

Researchers wanted to see if UK women – who are less likely to have AAAs – could also benefit from a similar screening programme.

Professor Matthew Bown from our Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, co-author of the paper and honorary consultant vascular surgeon at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “AAA is a serious condition and although it is less common in women we investigated whether extending the screening to women would be beneficial.”