NCHR Comments on USPSTF Draft Recommendations on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening

National Center for Health Research, July 12, 2019

National Center for Health Research’s Public Comments on the
USPSTF’s Draft Recommendation Statement on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: Screening

Thank you for the opportunity to express our views on the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) draft recommendation regarding screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) in adults. The National Center for Health Research is a nonprofit think tank that conducts, analyzes, and scrutinizes research, policies, and programs on a range of issues related to health and safety. We do not accept funding from companies that make products that are the subject of our work, so we have no conflicts of interest.

We support the USPSTF draft recommendation related to screening for AAA in asymptomatic adults 50 years and older. The differences in prevalence, risks of surgery, likelihood of benefit, and amount of available evidence support the need for different recommendations based on gender/biological sex and smoking history. We agree that men who have not smoked should not be routinely screened.  We also agree that women should not be routinely screened whether they smoked or not.

As noted in the USPSTF recommendation and evidence review, studies on screening and treatment have had limited demographic diversity, predominantly including white males aged 65-75 years. We urge USPSTF to encourage future studies that include more women, older adults, and more diversity in terms of races and ethnicities, since that would enable future recommendations to more accurately reflect all patients that may be treated using these recommendation statements.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on AAA screening.

The National Center for Health Research can be reached through Stephanie Fox-Rawlings, PhD at