The United States Preventive Services Task Force, USPSTF, is an independent panel of experts in primary care and prevention that systematically reviews medical evidence and develops recommendations. At times, the USPSTF seems conservative, but overall gives worthwhile advice. Some of their latest 2015 recommendations are as follows:
Who needs aortic aneurysm screening? Men aged 65 to 75 (who have EVER smoked) should have a one-time screening to rule out abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). This screening is done by an ultrasound. The risk of having an abdominal aortic aneurysm is for the aneurysm to grow in size and to burst. When it bursts, it often causes rapid death.
Incidentally, the USPSTF specifically states that women who have never smoked should NOT be screened for AAA.
I’ll write about more USPSTF guidelines in future blogs.