U.K. aneurysm screening for men draws criticism

February 11, 2006

The U.K.'s national screening committee has recommended routine abdominal aortic aneurysm screening with ultrasound for men over the age of 65. Doctors have welcomed the move but questioned the committee's decision not to screen women, according to an article in Pulse, a newspaper for general practitioners.

The U.K.'s national screening committee has recommended routine abdominal aortic aneurysm screening with ultrasound for men over the age of 65. Doctors have welcomed the move but questioned the committee's decision not to screen women, according to an article in Pulse, a newspaper for general practitioners.

The U.K.'s recommendation parallels a proposal last year by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to screen for AAA only in men between the ages of 65 and 75 who have ever smoked.

"The [U.K.] committee may well be justified in its decision to screen men only, but it will have to be prepared to communicate its reasons effectively, because there are bound to be concerns," said Phil Johnson, editor of Pulse. "Women are routinely less well treated for cardiovascular disease than men, and it would be a shame if a new and important innovation exacerbated that problem."