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Sao Paulo Medical Journal

Print version ISSN 1516-3180On-line version ISSN 1806-9460


PUECH-LEAO, Pedro; MOLNAR, Lazlo Josef; OLIVEIRA, Ilka Regina de  and  CERRI, Giovanni Guido. Prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysms: a screening program in São Paulo, Brazil. Sao Paulo Med. J. [online]. 2004, vol.122, n.4, pp.158-160. ISSN 1516-3180.

CONTEXT: Abdominal aortic aneurysm is an asymptomatic but potentially fatal condition. Elective surgery can prevent death from rupture, and is indicated for aneurysms larger than 45 mm. Because aneurysms tend to grow with time, detection of small ones (> 29 mm) may lead to a closer follow-up of patients at risk. OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysms in São Paulo, Brazil. DESIGN: Prospective, descriptive. SETTING: University Hospital. PARTICIPANTS: Persons aged 50 years or more were offered, through the press, the opportunity to be screened for abdominal aortic aneurysm. The total number screened was 2,756. PROCEDURE: All were submitted to abdominal palpation and ultrasound examination. PARAMETER STUDIED: A maximum diameter of 30 mm or more was considered to be an aneurysm. RESULTS: Sixty-four aneurysms were detected, nine of which measuring more than 49 mm. Palpation detected 60 aneurysms, but only 20 of these were confirmed by the ultrasound. Conversely, 41 of the ultrasound-detected aneurysms were not palpable. The percentages of abdominal aortic aneurysms found in the subgroups via ultrasound examination (with 95% confidence interval) were as follows: total group, 2.3 (1.8-3); men, 4.6 (3.5-5.9); women, 0.6 (0.3-1.1); men aged 60 or more, 6 (4.3-8); women aged 60 or more, 0.9 (0.4-1.8). CONCLUSION: In São Paulo, Brazil, 1.8 to 3 % of persons aged 50 years or more are expected to have abdominal aortic aneurysms. In the subgroup of men aged 60 or more, the expected prevalence is between 4.3 and 8%.

Keywords : Aortic aneurysm; Aneurysm; Screening; Prevalence; Determination.

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