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

    36 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

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2016 European Society for Vascular Surgery


    • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
    • Cardiovascular
    • Risk reduction


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