Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Screening men over 65 for abdominal aortic aneurysms could save lives

Between 5% and 10% of men aged 65 to 79 have abdominal aortic aneurysms, but don’t know it. If their weakened arteries burst they stand a very high risk of dying. Ultrasound screening of men in this age group can significantly reduce the numbers of men who die from this condition. The overall benefits of screening are complex, however, because many men may be subjected to unnecessary anxiety and/or to the complications of surgery.

An aneurysm is a localised widening of an artery. It occurs because the artery wall is weakened and without treatment it could easily burst. If the aneurysm is in the aorta, the main artery that carries blood through the abdomen, the result often can be fatal. Doctors believe that any abdominal aortic aneurysm that is greater than 5cm is at a high risk of bursting.

To see whether a program of ultrasound screening could detect these aneurysms before they burst, and save lives as a result, Cochrane Researchers performed a systematic review of screening trials. They identified four controlled trials that were conducted in the UK, Denmark and Australia, and involved a total of 127,891 men and 9,342 women.

The results showed that men aged 65-79 could benefit from screening, but there were insufficient data on women (whose risk of death from ruptured aortic aneurysm is much lower than the risk in men) to ascertain effectiveness in women.

Understanding the nature of this benefit is complex. Screening detects aneurysms before they burst, and the opportunity to repair them early significantly reduced deaths from aortic aneurysms. However, not everyone with an aneurysm will die as a result, even if it is not repaired, and so some people whose aneurysm would not have otherwise burst are subjected to major surgery with its attendant complications or to anxiety about their unoperated aneurysm through screening. Screening had no significant effect on overall mortality, which is to be expected given that aortic aneurysm is relatively infrequent as a cause of death.

“The overall population benefit from screening appears to be established, in that fewer people died from their aortic aneurysm as a result of screening. However, there will still be some deaths and ill health resulting in a small number of people dying or suffering ill health as a result of elective aneurysm repair, who otherwise consider themselves healthy, and whose aneurysms detected by screening may not have ruptured in the future. Patients may therefore be asked to undergo risky surgery for a procedure that may not have killed them, others may discover small aneurysms and worry about them unnecessarily,” says lead author Dr Paul Cosford, Director of Public Health at the East of England Strategic Health Authority.

“Resource analysis indicates that screening may be cost effective in relatively developed countries, but that this needs further expert analysis particularly given the lack of information on life expectancy, complications of surgery or quality of life,” says Cosford. The researchers say there is a need to see whether surveying a larger population of women would demonstrate that they could benefit from screening as well.

Jennifer Beal | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Enormous dome in central Andes driven by huge magma body beneath it

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Deep down fracking wells, microbial communities thrive

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>