9 Oct 2010

NZ urged to screen for aneurysms

11:49 am on 9 October 2010

A vascular surgeon at Auckland hospital says New Zealand should follow other countries and introduce an aneurysm screening programme.

It is estimated about 20,000 New Zealanders have an undiagnosed aneurysm, or swelling in the aortic wall, with many at risk of rupture and death.

The United Kingdom, the United States and western Australia have all introduced screening programmes.

Vascular surgeon Andrew Hill says the screening only requires ultrasound, so the cost of a scheme would be relatively low.

Mr Hill says aneurysms are often only discovered when they rupture, which is too late.

He says more research also needs to be done on the prevalence of aneurysms in New Zealand.