SOURCE: Find the AAAnswers

Find the AAAnswers

November 24, 2009 16:20 ET

Free Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screenings in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, OH--(Marketwire - November 24, 2009) - UC Health and The Christ Hospital will join the Find the AAAnswers national awareness campaign to provide free abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screenings to local Cincinnati residents who are at high-risk for the disease. The free screenings will be offered at Midwest Ultrasound on December 5, 2009 from 9 am - 5 pm; screenings take just 15 minutes to complete. Appointments can be scheduled in advance by calling (513) 936-5291. For individuals at-risk for abdominal aortic aneurysms, a simple, painless ultrasound screening is an effective way to detect a potentially life-threatening disease early enough for treatment.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a blood-filled bulge or ballooning of the abdominal aorta, the main artery that carries blood away from the heart to the lower part of the body. Over time, the vessel wall can lose its elasticity, and the force of normal blood pressure can cause the aneurysm to burst unexpectedly. This can lead to severe pain, massive internal bleeding or sudden death. More than one million people are living with undiagnosed AAA, and only 10-25 percent of those people will survive if the AAA ruptures.

Risk factors for AAA include:

  • Age - Individuals over the age of 60 are most likely to develop this condition
  • Gender - AAAs are between five to ten times more common in men than in women
  • Family history of AAA
  • Smoking or a history of smoking
  • Clogged arteries
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol

Find the AAAnswers campaign spokesperson and professional football legend, Joe Theismann understands the risks associated with AAA. "My father was lucky. He wouldn't be here today if his aneurysm had not been found by chance -- but most people with AAA won't be as fortunate," said Theismann. "Through this program, I hope to inspire those at-risk, and their family members, to learn more about AAA and ask the right questions. Today, a quick and painless ultrasound can detect AAA and possibly save a life."

Screening for AAA is quick and non-invasive, involving a simple ultrasound of the abdomen similar to a pregnancy ultrasound. In less than 15 minutes, the images produced with help a qualified technologist look for swelling along the aorta wall to determine if an AAA is present. If an aneurysm is detected, the ultrasound measures its size, which is a key step in identifying the best treatment option. Small aneurysms are monitored every six to 12 months for changes. Larger aneurysms may require immediate repair.

To learn more about AAA or schedule a screening, visit www.FindtheAAAnswers.org.

About the Find the AAAnswers Campaign
Find the AAAnswers is a multi-faceted, public education campaign designed to increase awareness and understanding among consumers, physicians, legislators and policy makers about abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), and to drive at-risk individuals to be screened. Sponsored by Medtronic, the program is supported by the Find the AAAnswers Coalition, an alliance of concerned medical societies that have come together to provide accurate information about abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) and increase the number of at-risk individuals that get screened. Coalition partners include the Society for Vascular Surgery, the American College of Preventive Medicine and the Society for Vascular Ultrasound. For more information, visit www.FindtheAAAnswers.org.

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