Effectiveness of Early Detection and Intervention

Screening for AAA and surgical repair of large AAAs (>5.5 cm) in men age 65 to 75 who have ever smoked leads to decreased AAA-specific mortality (USPSTF, 2005); whether screening affects all-cause mortality is uncertain. Although ultrasound can detect AAAs in women, women are unlikely to benefit from screening because they tend to develop AAAs at an older age. Screening studies have not shown a benefit for women (Fleming et al., 2005).

Screening can cause short-term anxiety. Surgical AAA repair carries a mortality risk of up to 5%. Perioperative cardiac and pulmonary complications are common, occurring in one third of patients (Fleming et al., 2005).

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