Physicians don’t order abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening for most of qualified patients, a recent Mayo Clinic study concluded. Abdominal aortic aneurysm is a condition in which the aorta in the abdomen becomes enlarged (an aneurysm) and can rupture; a life-threatening situation. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends a one-time AAA ultrasound screening in men aged 65 to 75 who have ever smoked. Patient records were reviewed over a 4-month period showing that providers ordered screening for only 12.9% of the qualified patients.
AAA screening is not often being ordered or even considered at your physician’s visit. Many physicians are concerned about managing hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and other health problems, they forget about AAA risk. Even with the fact that up to 80% of ruptured AAAs end in death, and that prior to rupture, there are no symptoms!
If you have AAA risk factors, ask your doctor for a screening. If you are a male that has smoked, or a man or a woman with a family history of AAA, Medicare will pay for a one-time AAA ultrasound screening in your first year of enrollment. If you have risk factors, but have missed the Medicare eligibility timeframe, contact a highly credentialed screening facility such as Futura Health Screening and schedule a low-cost AAA screening exam.
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