Men aged 65 will be offered aneurysm screening as part of the NHS’ 65th birthday celebrations.
The NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening (AAA) Programme is now available throughout England, Northern Ireland and most of Scotland for men aged 65 on 1 April 2013.
Men will be invited to local centres for a non-invasive ultrasound scan, which usually takes less than ten minutes.
“AAA screening should eventually prevent around 2,000 premature deaths per year, ensuring longer healthier lives for many older men,” said Professor Kevin Fenton, PHE's director of health and wellbeing.
Around 5,000 people die each year from ruptured AAA and men are six times more likely than women to develop the condition.
By spotting aneurysms promptly, the NHS and Public Health England (PHE) hope to halve avoidable deaths through early detection, monitoring and treatment.
Men aged over 65 can arrange an appointment by contacting their local service.
The risk of AAA increases if someone:
smokes or has ever smoked
has high blood pressure
has high cholesterol
has a close relative (parent or sibling) who has or has had an AAA
NHS AAA screening programme clinical lead Jonothan Earnshaw said: “I would urge all men in their late 60s and early 70s to consider seriously the offer of screening, particularly if they are in a high risk group.”