A new screening guideline from the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care (CTFPHC) for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), which cause approximately 1244 deaths every year in Canada, recommends one-time ultrasonography screening for men aged 65 to 80 years.

The guideline is published inĀ CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

An AAA is a swelling, or aneurysm, of the aorta, the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lower part of the body. In Canada, an estimated 20 000 people are diagnosed with an AAA annually.

An AAA results from a weakening in a section of the aortic wall in the abdomen, which bulges because of pressure from blood flow. The aneurysm may grow and eventually rupture, causing death from hemorrhage.

Risk factors include male sex, smoking, advanced age and a family history of AAA.

Recommendations:

  • One-time screening with ultrasonography for AAA for men aged 65 to 80. (Weak recommendation; moderate quality of evidence)
  • Not screening men older than 80 years of age for AAA. (Weak recommendation; low quality of evidence)
  • Not screening women for AAA. (Strong recommendation; very low quality of evidence)

Click here to read the full press release.