(HealthDay News) — Two-thirds of acute abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) events occur in those aged ≥75 years, with most events in men <75 years occurring in smokers, according to a study published online August 19 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Dominic P.J. Howard, DPhil, from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a prospective, population-based study to determine the incidence and outcome of acute AAA events, and the impact of screening.

The researchers identified 103 incident acute AAA events over the 12-year study period within the study population of 92,728. The incidence was 55, 112, and 298/100,000/year for men aged 65–74, 75–85, and 85 years or older, respectively. Sixty-six percent of all events occurred at age ≥75 years. Among those aged 65–74 years, incidence was highest among male smokers, with most (96.4%) events in men aged <75 years occurring in ever-smokers. Using trial evidence of screening efficacy, extrapolating rates to the U.K. population, the current U.K. screening program would prevent 5.6% of aneurysm-related deaths. By 2030, 91% of deaths are expected to occur at age ≥75 years, with 28.6% occurring in women.

“Given that two-thirds of acute AAA occurred at ≥75 years of age, screening older age groups should be considered,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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