Should we screen for aneurysm?

Aussie position vindicated

Screening programs for abdominal aortic aneurysms are now being questioned, with a Lancet paper suggesting they are doing more harm than good.

The findings appear to vindicate Australia’s decision not to offer nationwide screening to 65 year-old men.

Such programs are only available in Sweden and the UK but if the latest results are anything to go by, they may be short-lived there.

While abdominal aortic aneurysm mortality in Swedish and British men has decreased significantly in recent years, researchers are now convinced this is not due to screening but rather a decline in smoking.

"Mortality has declined by over 70%, and this trend was seen in both screened and unscreened counties, and in both screened and unscreened age groups," says lead author Dr Minna Johansson, from Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden.

"If the screening program had any impact at all on the decline, it