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Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms was cost effective for prolonging survival from AAA related death in older men

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 QUESTION: In older men, does ultrasonographic screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) sufficiently increase survival time free from AAA related death to make it cost effective?


4 year cost effectiveness analysis from a health service perspective of a {randomised (allocation concealed*), blinded (data collectors and outcome assessors),* controlled trial}.


4 centres in England, UK.


67 800 men who were 65–74 years of age (mean age 69 y) and were identified from family physician and Health Authority patient lists. Family physicians excluded patients they considered unfit to be screened, including those with terminal illness, other serious health problems, or previous AAA repair. Mortality follow up was 99%.


Men were allocated to be invited (n=33 839) or not to be invited (n=33 961) for screening. The invited group received by mail an invitation from their family physician, an information booklet, and a …

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  • Sources of funding: UK Medical Research Council and Department of Health.

  • For correspondence: Professor M J Buxton, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK.martin.buxton{at}

  • Abstract and commentary also appear in ACP Journal Club.

  • * See glossary.