Patients with Small Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm are at Significant Risk of Cardiovascular Events and this Risk is not Addressed Sufficiently

UKAGS investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Background Patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) are at significant risk of cardiovascular (CV) events. Recent implementation of AAA-screening means thousands of patients are now diagnosed with small-AAA; however, CV risk factors are not always addressed. This study aimed at assessing and quantifying the CV characteristics of patients with small AAA following the introduction of screening programmes. Methods CV profiles of 384 men with a small AAA (<55 mm diameter) were assessed through the United Kingdom Aneurysm Growth Study (UKAGS), a nationwide prospective cohort study of men with small AAA. A prospective local cohort of an additional 142 patients with small AAA with available blood pressure (BP) and lipid profiles was also included and followed-up for 1 year. Results In the UKAGS population, 54% were current and 30% ex-smokers; 58% were hypertensive and 54% hypercholesterolaemic. In the local group, 54% were current and 40% were ex-smokers, and 94% were hypertensive. Patients were not more likely to receive CV medication after entering AAA surveillance in either group. All local patients were clustered “high-risk” for future CV events based on the Framingham score (mean 21.8%, 95% CI 20.0–23.6), JBS-2 (16.3%, 14.7–17.9) and ASSIGN (25.2%, 22.7–27.7). No change was seen in systolic BP levels between baseline and 1 year (140.9 mmHg vs. 142.5 mmHg, p=.435). A rise was seen in cholesterol (4.0 mmol–4.2 mmol, p<.0001) values at 1 year. Conclusions This study suggests that patients with small AAA are at significant risk for developing CV events and this is not currently addressed, which is evident by the “high-risk” CV risk profiles of these patients despite being in AAA surveillance. Design and implementation of a CV risk reduction programme tailored for this population is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-260
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The UK Aneurysm Growth Study was funded by the British Heart Foundation (CS/14/2/30841) and the Circulation Foundation. AS is funded by the NIHR and Academy of Medical Sciences (SGCL13), MJB is funded by the British Heart Foundation, NIHR and The Dunhill Trust.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 European Society for Vascular Surgery


  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Cardiovascular
  • Risk reduction


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