Randomized clinical trial of screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm in women

Br J Surg. 2002 Mar;89(3):283-5. doi: 10.1046/j.0007-1323.2001.02014.x.


Background: Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is commonly restricted to men. Recent studies have indicated a possible increase in deaths due to ruptured AAA in women, and a higher rate of rupture in women than in men. The present report details results from a randomized controlled trial that assessed the effects of screening women for AAA.

Methods: Some 9342 women aged 65-80 years were entered into the trial and randomized to age-matched screen and control groups. A single ultrasonographic scan was offered to women in the screening arm of the study. Women with an AAA received follow-up scans, and were considered for elective surgery if certain criteria were met.

Results: The prevalence of AAA was six times lower in women (1.3 per cent) than in men (7.6 per cent). Over 5- and 10-year follow-up intervals, the incidence of rupture was the same in the screened and control groups of women.

Conclusion: Screening women for AAA is neither clinically indicated nor economically viable.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / epidemiology*
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / mortality
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Ultrasonography