Men over 65 advised to screen for abdominal condition

Published Tuesday 20 May 2014 at 14:55

Blackburn with Darwen men turning 65 are being encouraged to take up a screening invite for a potentially fatal abdominal condition – with those already aged over 65 able to refer themselves in to the service.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) can be caused when the main blood vessel in the abdomen – the aorta – weakens and starts to stretch. If undetected, the condition can be fatal.

An NHS Screening Programme for the condition was launched in Lancashire and Cumbria last year, with invitations for screening being sent to men in the year they turn 65. 9663 men have so far received a scan.

Those who are over 65 but haven’t been invited for AAA screening can self-refer for a scan by contacting their local screening programme directly on: 0191 445 2554 or by emailing:

The NHS AAA Screening Programme aims to reduce deaths from the condition among men aged 65 and over, by up to 50 per cent, by detecting aneurysms early and offering appropriate monitoring or treatment. Men aged 65 and over are most at risk from the condition.

Those at higher risk are current or former smokers, people with high blood pressure or a close family history (parent or sibling) of AAA.

Dr Gifford Kerr, Consultant in Public Health for Blackburn with Darwen Council said :”Men who have an abdominal aortic aneurysm will not generally notice any symptoms, which is why screening is so important. The test is an ultrasound scan to look for the aneurysm and is simple, non-invasive and usually takes less than 10 minutes. The screening test is highly effective and men receive their result immediately.”

For more information on the national AAA screening programme, please visit:

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