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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Why should I be screened?
Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are very serious medical conditions that results when the wall of your aorta, the largest artery in the body, progressively weakens and begins to bulge. AAAs can be permanently cured when diagnosed early. However, if undetected, aortic aneurysms can progressively enlarge, silently, without symptoms, and eventually can rupture, which represents a major risk to life.
Two-thirds of patients who suffer rupture of an AAA didnt know they had the aneurysm until it ruptured, emphasizing how
important it is for patients at risk to be screened for this very
serious vascular condition.
Nearly 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a AAA annually.
Approximately 15,000 of those cases may be severe enough to cause death if not treated.
It is estimated that more than one million people are living with undiagnosed AAA, and at least 95 percent of these can be successfully treated if detected prior to rupture.
Medicare offers a one-time, free screening for AAA to qualified seniors as part of its Welcome to Medicare physical. This physical must be conducted within the first six months of enrollment in Medicare. Men who have smoked at least 100 cigarettes during their life, and men and women with a family history of AAA qualify
for the Medicare screening.
A painless, quick, risk-free unltrasound scan can diagnose an AAA and accurately measure its size (diameter) to determine the need for treatment
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