To study the incidence of various hospital manifestations of abdominal aortic aneurysms.
Retrospective review of a database covering all admissions to Danish hospitals.
All patients admitted to Danish hospitals during the period 1977 to 1990.
Number, and age and sex specific incidence rates of hospital admission for, operation for, or death from abdominal aortic aneurysm.
The number of admissions during which an abdominal aortic aneurysm was diagnosed increased fourfold from 362 in 1977 to 1317 in 1990, and the number of admissions, during which an abdominal aortic aneurysm was operated on, increased by a factor of nearly five from 66 to 307. A quarter of the operations were done for ruptured aneurysm. The number of deaths in hospital increased from 119 in 1978 to about 200 towards the end of the period, but during the last three years it decreased from 236 to 177.
Although the study records abdominal aortic aneurysm in hospital only, the data may indicate that the incidence is increasing. The reduction in mortality towards the end of the period may indicate that vascular surgery even on a national scale is effective in reducing mortality from aortic aneurysm.