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NHS AAA screening already saving lives

More than 400 potential killers were detected in the first year of the NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screening programme. 

AAA diagramThe first annual report of the programme published this month reports on activity in the six 'early adopter' areas: Gloucestershire, South Devon & Exeter, Leicestershire, South Manchester, West Sussex and South West London.

MHF CEO Peter Baker said: 'The development of AAA screening is great news for all men and a testament to the efforts our team here at the MHF made a few years ago to put this issue on the map.'

More than 23,000 men were screened for AAA for the first time and more than 400 aneurysms detected. The year also saw the development of a national IT programme to support the screening and the development of a national training framework

Approximately 6,000 people every year - most of them men aged 65 and over - die from ruptured AAA, which is caused when the aorta weakens and expands. The NHS AAA Screening Programme aims to reduce that figure by around 50% by inviting men for a simple ultrasound scan of the abdomen during the year they turn 65 and then offering appropriate monitoring and treatment if an aneurysm is detected.

National programme by 2013

National programme director Jonothan Earnshaw said: 'Men who have an abdominal aortic aneurysm do not generally notice any symptoms until it ruptures, which is why the implementation of a national screening programme is so important. The test is simple, non-invasive and usually takes less than 10 minutes.'

The NHS AAA Screening Programme is being implemented in a phased roll-out and full coverage across the whole of England is due to be achieved by 2013.


Page created on November 22nd, 2010

Page updated on November 23rd, 2010