AAA is the third leading cause of death in men ages 60 and older. Nearly 90 percent of the time, a ruptured AAA causes death, so it is important to discover and treat it early.
Risk factors include:
- Gender (males more than females)
- Family history of AAA
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Genetic disorders (such as Marfan syndrome)
Medicare covers the cost of ultrasound screening for AAA in high-risk individuals. However, they must request a referral during their “Welcome to Medicare” physical and arrange for the screening within a year of enrolling in Medicare Part B.
The low-cost AAA screening saves lives. Talk to your family doctor about your risk factors and whether you should have an AAA screening. For more information about abdominal aortic aneurysms, go to www.swedish.org/aaa.