Skip to Content
A new screening programme for abdominal aortic aneurysm has launched in NHS Highland and NHS Western Isles, and plans are now in place for it to be rolled out to all 12 health boards by December 2013.
What is an abdominal aortic aneurysm?
The aorta is the main artery that supplies blood to your body. It runs from your heart down through your chest and tummy.
In some people, the wall of the aorta in the abdomen can become weak over time and balloon out to form an aneurysm. This is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Large aneurysms are uncommon but can be very serious. As the wall of the aorta stretches, it becomes weaker, and it could burst.
If the aneurysm ruptures, this leads to life-threatening internal bleeding, and death in eight out of ten cases.
The condition is most common in men aged 65 and over. Men are six times more likely to have this type of aneurysm than women and the chance of having an aneurysm increases with age.
Approximately one in every twenty men aged 65 and over in Scotland has an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Why is the screening programme important?
If you have an aneurysm, you are unlikely to have any symptoms. You cannot tell if you have one, as you will not feel any pain or notice anything different. You may feel completely healthy.
The Scottish NHS AAA Screening Programme invites you for screening so we can find aneurysms early and monitor or treat them.
This greatly reduces the chance of the aneurysm rupturing and causing serious problems.
Rolling out the screening programme across Scotland
Scotland’s abdominal aortic aneurysm screening programme is being introduced gradually in phases to make sure it works as effectively as possible.
By the end of 2013 all men aged 65 in Scotland will be invited to attend screening.
The planned phased roll out of this programme is currently:
You can find further information on this new screening programme on NHS inform's Screening Scotland information zone.
Image courtesy of Flickr/ Sebastiaan ter Burg