Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening for men 65 and over provides an invaluable health-awareness test for a largely symptomless condition.
Information taken from the NHS leaflet 'NHS Screening Programmes'
The aorta is the main blood vessel that supplies blood to your body. It runs from your heart down through your chest and abdomen. In some people, as they get older, the wall of the aorta in the abdomen can become weak. It can then start to expand and form an abdominal aneurysm (a bulge in the blood vessel caused by a local weakness). The condition is most common in men aged 65 and over.
Large aneurysms are rare but can be very serious. As the wall of the aorta stretches it becomes weaker and can burst, causing internal bleeding. Around 85% of people die when an aneurysm bursts. IF YOU HAVE AN ANEURYSM YOU WILL NOT USUALLY NOTICE ANY SYMPTOMS. The easiest way to discover if you have an aneurysm is to have an ultrasound scan of your abdomen. To provide some dimension to the scale of the problem, around 1 in 70 men who are screened will have an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
The AAA screening last less than 10 minutes and you will receive your results immediately after the test.
The AAA screening does NOT explore other possible medical conditions. If you are concerned about other aspects of your health, you should seek the advice of your GP.
To find out more....
If you are 65 or over, you should have automatically received an invitation to participate in the screening programme
If you have mislaid your invitation, you can still enter the programme via your GP.
Look for more information here...
www.nhs.uk/aaadecisionaid if you would like more info before you make a decision
www.nhs.uk/aaa to find out more about the programme and the contact details of your local service or phone 0300 422 4468
www.circulationfoundation.org.uk a support organisation for people with vascular diseases including AAA
Visit your GP's surgery
The North East of England AAA Screening Programme can be contacted at the following address:
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
or telephone 0191 445 2554