Background: Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm has been shown to reduce aneurysm-related mortality, but the applicability of the results to the whole of the UK has been questioned. This study examined screening in a remote and rural area.
Methods: Over 3 years, men aged 65-74 years were offered screening in the community by ultrasonography, usually in general practitioner surgeries. Men with an aneurysm were rescanned at intervals or assessed for surgery. The screening and hospital costs of the programme were calculated.
Results: Some 9323 men were offered screening of whom 8355 (89.6 per cent) attended. Uptake was high in all areas. A total of 430 scans (5.1 per cent) were abnormal; 40 men had an aneurysm greater than 55 nun in diameter. Twenty further men had an aorta that enlarged to greater than 55 mm during follow-up. A total of 54 men had elective repair with one death (mortality rate 2 per cent). The cost of screening alone was 16 pound per invitation and the overall cost of the programme, including surgery, was 258 per invitation.
Conclusion: Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm can be carried out in a remote and rural area with high uptake, acceptable clinical results and at no greater cost than in more densely populated areas.
- RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL