Aneurysm Screening Programme Has Detected 10,000 Aneurysms in Just 6 Years

January 6th, 2016

A national aneurysm screening programme introduced in 2009 has detected more than 10,000 aneurysms, according to the latest research. Aneurysms often cause no symptoms and the effects may not become apparent until they burst, often with fatal consequences.

Until 2009, the incidence of fatal aortic abdominal aneurysms in the UK was the highest in Europe, but a national screening programme has made a positive difference. So far, one million men have been screened and more than 10,000 aneurysms have been identified.

Screening was initially available to all men aged over 65 in England, but the scheme has also been rolled out in other UK nations since 2013.

As a result of the programme, 2,000 men diagnose with large aortic abdominal aneurysms have had surgical treatment and a number of men with smaller aneurysms have been invited back for frequent testing and ongoing monitoring.

66-year-old Londoner Peter Morris is just one of those who have benefited from the programme. After being reluctant to go for his appointment because he didn’t have any symptoms and considered himself in good health, Peter was shocked to hear that doctors had discovered an aneurysm measuring 6.7 cm in diameter. He subsequently underwent successful surgery and is now glad he made the decision to go for screening, as it may have saved his life.

Public Health England’s Dr Anne Mackie, director of screening, said it was a great achievement that a million men have now made use of the screening programme and hailed the scheme as a “major public health success story”.

Public Health England estimates that after 10 years of screening, around 1,000 to 2,000 lives will be saved per year.


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