Few countries offer organized screening of siblings of patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), although a hereditary trait is well known to exist. Male relatives, but not female, are invited within the population-based screening programs for elderly men in Sweden. Evidence regarding the optimal age to screen siblings is scarce. The aim of this study was to describe the age at detection in siblings found with AAAs.
All patients treated for AAAs in two Swedish counties were screened for siblings. Consenting siblings aged 80 and younger were examined (N = 529) with ultrasound and were interviewed per protocol.
In the cohort of 529 siblings to AAA patients, 53 siblings were diagnosed with AAAs (sisters 16/276 [5.8%] and brothers 37/253 [14.6%]). The prevalence of AAAs in the siblings 65 years of age or younger was 16/207 (7.7%). One-third of the siblings found with AAAs were young (16/53 [30%]). Among the young siblings with AAAs, 8/16 (50%) had an aneurysm larger than 50 mm or were already surgically treated. The prevalence of AAAs in siblings older than 65 years of age was 37/322 (12%).
The AAA prevalence in this sibling cohort is strikingly high compared to the prevalence in the population (in Sweden, 1.4%-2.2% in 65-year-old men). The young ages among diagnosed siblings reinforce that male siblings of AAA patients should be screened before age 65 (before the population-based program) and that structured programs for female siblings are called for.
Smoking cessation is one of the few available strategies to decrease the risk for expansion and rupture of small abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). The cost-effectiveness of an intensive smoking cessation therapy in patients with small AAAs identified at screening was evaluated.
A Markov cohort simulation model was used to compare an 8-week smoking cessation intervention with adjuvant pharmacotherapy and annual revisits vs nonintervention among 65-year-old male smokers with a small AAA identified at screening. The smoking cessation rate was tested in one-way sensitivity analyses in the intervention group (range, 22%-57%) and in the nonintervention group (range, 3%-30%). Literature data on the effect of smoking on AAA expansion and rupture was factored into the model.
The intervention was cost-effective in all tested scenarios and sensitivity analyses. The smoking cessation intervention was cost-effective due to a decreased need for AAA repair and decreased rupture rate even when disregarding the positive effects of smoking cessation on long-term survival. The incremental cost/effectiveness ratio reached the willingness-to-pay threshold value of €25,000 per life-year gained when assuming an intervention cost of > €3250 or an effect of = 1% difference in long-term smoking cessation between the intervention and nonintervention groups. Smoking cessation resulted in a relative risk reduction for elective AAA repair by 9% and for rupture by 38% over 10 years of follow-up.
An adequate smoking cessation intervention in patients with small AAAs identified at screening can cost-effectively increase long-term survival and decrease the need for AAA repair.
Population-based screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) in elderly men is organized in many regions and countries in the Western world, and the prevalence of disease is reported to decline. Whether the prevalence among those with a family history also is declining is unknown. The primary purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of AAAs among siblings of persons with AAAs and to investigate the proportion of siblings already diagnosed by opportunistic screening.
Patients treated for AAAs from January 2008 through December 2010 (n = 412) in Stockholm, Sweden, were screened for siblings. Seven hundred seventy-nine siblings were identified. All siblings 65 (odds ratio, 10.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.3-86.4; P = .03). Ever smoking was not statistically significant as a risk.
A strikingly high prevalence of AAAs in siblings was found as compared to the reported declining aneurysm prevalence in elderly men in the Western world. Systematic improvements regarding screening of first-degree relatives is mandated and selective screening of siblings is an underused tool to prevent death from aneurysm disease, both among men and women.
To assess outcomes in an elderly and diseased population after stenting in the femoropopliteal segment and evaluate risk factors for poor prognosis.
Retrospective study of femoropopliteal stents placed between March 2006 and January 2008. Patency was verified by duplex scanning. Risk factors associated with amputation or death and patency were analyzed using Cox regression.
A total of 117 limbs in 112 patients were observed for a median of 18 months. Median age of the patients was 79 years; 68% were treated for critical limb ischemia and 85% had occlusive lesions. Mean lesion length was 15.4 cm (SD: 9.2) and mean stented length was 19.7 cm (standard deviation: 9.8). At 1 year, primary patency was 63%, primary-assisted patency was 67%, and secondary patency was 69%. Stent diameter =6 versus 7 mm was a risk factor for loss of patency with a hazard ratio (HR) of 2.9 (95% CI: 1.1-7.7). Significant risk factors for death or amputation were as follows: HR for rest pain versus claudication was 5.9 (1.1-32.8), HR for tissue loss versus claudication was 5.8 (1.1-29.6), HR for stent diameter =6 versus 7 mm was 3.6 (1.0-12.3), and HR for 3-4 stents versus 1-2 was 2.6 (1.1-6.1).
Rutherford status is associated with death or amputation after stenting in the femoropopliteal segment. In addition, a smaller stent diameter and number of stents depict poorer prognosis independent of gender and anatomic level.