New aneurysm health screening for men over 65 in Norfolk and Waveney

A Norwich hospital has introduced the first NHS screening programme in the East of England to identify men at risk of rupturing the largest blood vessel in the body.

All 65-year old men in Norfolk and Waveney can now benefit from the new screening programme for abdominal aortic aneurysms (also known as AAAs) introduced by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

An estimated 80,000 men aged between 65 and 74 are affected by the condition, which is caused when the main blood vessel in the abdomen – the aorta – weakens and starts to expand.

If undetected, the condition can be fatal and around 6,000 men die every year in England from an AAA. Men who have an AAA will not generally notice any symptoms, which is why screening is so important.

The screening is expected to reduce deaths from the condition by up to 50pc, by detecting AAAs early and offering appropriate monitoring or treatment. Men aged 65 and over are most at risk from the condition, so invitations for screening are being sent out to men in the area in the year they turn 65. Matthew Armon, consultant vascular surgeon at the N&N, said: 'A simple ultrasound scan of the abdominal aorta is carried out and the aortic diameter is measured.

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'The screening test takes less than 10 minutes, is highly effective and men receive their result immediately. Vascular disease is as common as cancer and heart disease and I therefore strongly encourage everyone offered the opportunity to participate'.

Men who are older than 65 and have never had screening or treatment for an AAA can request to be screened by contacting their local programme on 01603 288218 or email the programme co-ordinator Sarah Pond at

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For more information please visit the national programme website at

Do you have a health story? Call Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email

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