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Wednesday 21st August 2019

Screening linked to drop in aneurysm death rate

27th November 2012

Experts have said the drop in operating table deaths during surgery for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is in part caused by screening.

heart surgery

Men aged over 65 are invited by the Department of Health for a scan to check for the condition, which is caused when the vessel which carries blood from heart to the body becomes weak and swollen.

Screening has been carried out in England since 2009, but before this date the UK had the highest number of deaths from AAA in Europe.

In 2009 the number of death from AAA repairs was 7.9%, but this has now fallen to just 1.6% in England. 

Estimates show that one in 25 men in England between the ages of 65 and 74 have the condition.

The NHS AAA Screening Programme (NAAASP) is due to cover the whole of England by April next year. 

Jonothan Earnshaw, NAAASP director, said: "Research shows hospitals that do a lot of these operations get better results, and this is also reflected in the latest mortality figures."

Professor Ross Naylor, president of the Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland, said: "The UK can be justifiably proud of being one of only a few countries to have implemented a national aneurysm screening programme which has met every quality target regarding deliverability and low procedural risks."


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