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.