You are here

Task Force Recommends Screening Some Men for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Evidence suggests that screening benefits older men who have smoked

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has published a final recommendation statement on screening adults aged 50 years and older for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). This statement applies to people who do not have symptoms of AAA.

After reviewing the evidence, the task force issued varying recommendations for men and women according to their smoking history. The task force recommends one-time ultrasound screening for men aged 65 to 75 years who currently smoke or who have smoked 100 cigarettes or more in the past.

AAA is a serious condition that is often asymptomatic. If untreated, a large aneurysm can burst or rupture without warning, and a high percentage of ruptures can cause death.

The task force recommends that men aged 65 to 75 years who have never smoked should talk to their doctor or nurse to see whether one-time AAA screening is appropriate based on their health history and on the potential benefits and harms of screening.

The evidence for the benefits and harms of screening differs between men and women. The task force calls for more research to determine whether AAA screening is beneficial for women aged 65 to 75 years who have a smoking history. Because of this lack of evidence, the task force concluded that it could not recommend for or against screening older women who smoke.

Among women who don’t smoke, the chance of developing AAA is extremely small (well under 1%). The task force found that AAA screening is unlikely to benefit these women and may even cause harm. The task force recommends against screening for AAA in women who don’t smoke.

The task force’s final recommendation statement was published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Source: USPSTF; June 24, 2014.

Recent Headlines

Despite older, sicker patients, mortality rate fell by a third in 10 years
Study finds fewer than half of trials followed the law
WHO to meet tomorrow to decide on international public heath emergency declaration
Study of posted prices finds wild variations and missing data
Potential contamination could lead to supply chain disruptions
Declining lung cancer mortality helped fuel the progress
Kinase inhibitor targets tumors with a PDGFRA exon 18 mutation
Delayed surgery reduces benefits; premature surgery raises risks
Mortality nearly doubled when patients stopped using their drugs