Men are approximately six times more likely than women to have an AAA. The chances of having an AAA increase with age. Around 1 in 40 men aged 65 in Northern Ireland have an AAA, and if you are the close relative of an affected person, you are more likely to get one. Other factors known to increase the risk and size of AAAs are:
- high cholesterol;
- high blood pressure.
However, AAAs can occur in men who do not fall into any of these categories.
Are men with a family history of AAAs able to attend the screening programme?
Only if they fulfil the general eligibility criteria for the programme.
Men aged under 65 and who have a family history of AAAs – i.e. parent, brother, sister, son or daughter – can be referred to a local imaging department by their GP for an ultrasound scan. Such a referral would be outside the remit of the AAA screening programme.