NHS plan to extend patient choice
Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms in men aged 65 and over substantially reduces mortality, a study concludes.
The leader of the Danish trial said the results 'strongly supported' the introduction of mass screening in the UK.
The study, published online in the BMJ this week, reduced mortality from the condition by 67 per cent and hospital interventions by 75 per cent.
Researchers randomised 12,639 men roughly equally to screening by abdominal
ultrasonography or usual care.
Study participants with an abdominal aortic aneurysm over 5cm were referred for surgical evaluation and those with smaller aneurysms were offered annual scans.
There were nine deaths from abdominal aortic aneu-rysms in the screened
group and 27 in the control group.
Study leader Dr Jes Lindholt, associate professor in vascular surgery at Viborg Hospital in Denmark, said the new results strongly supported routine screening.
Dr Lindholt said: 'The national steering committee in the UK is evaluating whether it should recommend a national screening programme. Based upon the findings in this trial and the UK Mass trial it strongly supports it.'