Prevalence

• The most important factors determining the prevalence of AAA are sex and age (Fig. 5.1.2) [2].

• AAA in patients younger than 50-55 years of age usually is part of a well-defined disease entity such as Marfan's syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

• If the abdominal aorta is normal at 65 years of age, later aneurysmal development is rare, at least before the age of 75 [20].

• AAAs below 5.0-5.5 cm in diameter seldom rupture, and in a practical clinical setting the size-specific prevalence is important (Table 5.1.2).

• The age-specific prevalence in the populations in Western Europe seems to have increased since the 1950s. In

5.1.3 Epidemiology/Aetiology

Fig. 5.1.2 Prevalence of AAA related to age and sex. Data based on an autopsy study with an autopsy rate of 83%. From Bengts-son et al. [2]

Table 5.1.1 Prevalence of AAA among 73,451 American veterans aged 50-79 years. Ultrasonographic diagnosis men, after the age of 55 years the prevalence increases rapidly, peaking at about 80-85 years at about 6%. In women AAAs appear 10-15 years later and are 2-4 times less common than in men, although these figures depend on which definition of AAA is used.

• The prevalence detected in ultrasonography screening studies is in good accordance with autopsy findings in populations with a high autopsy rate [2, 27, 32].

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