The combined screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral artery disease, and hypertension gained more living years for lower costs than European cancer screening programs, according to a group led by Dr. Jes Lindholt of Odense University Hospital in Denmark.
The research is part of the Danish Viborg Vascular (VIVA) trial, which assessed the mortality effect and cost-effectiveness of combined screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral artery disease, and hypertension. It included 50,156 men between the ages of 65 to 74. Half were invited to screening, while the other half received usual care -- where disease is detected only if a man reacts to symptoms.
Men in the screening group underwent a 10 minute procedure in which their aorta was scanned using ultrasonography and their blood pressure was measured. More than 20% of those screened had positive test results: 3% had an abdominal aortic aneurysm, 11% had peripheral artery disease, and 11% had suspected hypertension that was untreated, Lindholt's team found.
After five years, one life was saved for every 169 men screened, a statistically significant 7% relative risk reduction compared with no screening. The cost of screening (at 2014 rates) was estimated at an additional 148 euros per citizen, in comparison with usual care, the researchers found.
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