PEOPLE had an opportunity to learn more about abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening and to celebrate local achievements at a special event to mark the successful first year of the screening programme based at Salisbury District Hospital.

An AAA is a weakening or bulging of the major blood vessel (the aorta) in the body and rupture or bursting is life-threatening, and since the programme started at the end of 2012, over 9,000 men have been screened for a AAA across Wiltshire and Dorset.

Sarah Hulin, programme clinical director and consultant surgeon said: “Men are six times more likely to have an aneurysm than women and around 95 per cent of all ruptures occur in men aged 65 and over which is why screening is targeted at this specific group of people. We know that early detection of AAA can save lives, which is why the national screening programme is so important.”

The national screening programme automatically invites men who are close to their 65th birthday.

All men older than 65 can also request a scan by contacting their nearest AAA screening centre. For those living in Wiltshire and Dorset, the number is 01722 336262 ext. 2640 or 2539, or email All scans are free of charge.