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New Triple Vascular Screening is Saving Lives

Posted on 23.10.2017

AAA is currently the only cardiovascular disease targeted by population screening. But in 
a recent Danish Viborg Vascular (VIVA) study, researchers tested the effectiveness of combined screening for AAA, peripheral arteria disease and hypertension. 


This new way of screening saw a clear reduction in deaths, and saves one life for every 169 patients who are screened, according to the study which was published in August 2017. 


“Screening for cardiovascular disease hasn’t caught much attention. We sought to test whether triple vascular screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral artery disease and hypertension could reduce overall mortality in 64-75 year old men.” 


Said Jes Lindholt, MD, professor of vascular surgery, at Odense University Hospital, Denmark. 


Between October 8, 2008, and January 11, 2011, the study selected 50,156 participants,  


This non-invasive way of triple screening seems to be both cost-effective and life-saving, according to researchers who undertook the study of 50,156 men, between October 8, 2008, and January 11, 2011. 25 078 (50%) each were placed in the screening and non-screening groups. 


In comparison to the men who did not undergo the screening, there was a 7% reduction in mortality, which translates to 169 screenings to save one life. No major differences were seen, however, for the outcomes of AAA or cardiovascular mortality – on the whole. 


Speaking at the European Society of Cardiology Congres 2017, Jes Lindholt said, “there were no negative effects of the screening program, including no post-operative deaths, central nervous system bleeding, diabetes mellitus, cancer, uremia, quality of life, overdiagnosis or overtreatment. 


There have been some challenges to the study, namely from Chadi Ayoub, MD and M. Hassan Murad, MD, MPH, both from the Mayo Clinic Evidence-based Practice Center, Rochester, Minnesota. They wrote in a related editorial that the research needed to include people from a wider range than the 64-74 year old Danish males. They also said that more data concerning interventions such as smoking cessation, lifestyle changes along with the effects of surveillance would also contribute to the study. 


They wrote, “The VIVA trial presents thought-provoking findings. However, implementation of this screening intervention requires more proof than presented in this study,” 


What is most evident from the study is that there is enormous potential for maximizing vascular screening, making services faster without jeopardising patient care. 


To explore new opportunities in vascular sonography, visit our job search page.