Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Programme

The Northern Ireland Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening Programme is a regional programme offering screening to men registered with a GP in Northern Ireland when they turn 65 years old.  The aim of the programme is to reduce AAA-related deaths, by identifying them at an early stage using a simple, painless ultrasound scan.  The aorta is the main artery that supplies blood to your body. It runs from your heart down through your chest and abdomen (stomach).  As some people get older, the wall of the aorta in the abdomen can weaken and balloon out to form an aneurysm, rather like a bulge in a worn car tyre.  This is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm.  At the age of 65, about 1 in every 65 men will have an AAA.  The aneurysm usually causes no symptoms and most people are not aware they have it.  However, about a third of these will rupture (burst) if not treated, which can be fatal.  Any man aged over 65, who has not been screened before, can ask for a screening appointment by calling 028 9615 1212.  For further information, visit: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/aaa