Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Medicare AAA Screening Benefit Now Offered For 12 Months

(NAPSI)-A one-time, free Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screening for at-risk Medicare beneficiaries is now available for 12 months after enrollment. Men who have smoked sometime during their life, and men and women with a family history of AAA, qualify for the free screening benefit as part of their Welcome to Medicare Physical Exam.

AAA is an enlargement or "bulge" that develops in a weakened area within the largest artery in the abdomen. The pressure generated by each heartbeat pushes against the weakened aortic wall, causing the aneurysm to enlarge and, in time, weaken. If undetected, the aneurysm becomes so large, and its wall so weak, that rupture occurs.

Nearly 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with AAA annually; approximately 15,000 of these cases may be severe enough to cause death if not treated. Talk to your family physician about being screened for AAA and see a vascular surgeon if AAA is detected. Visit VascularWeb.org for more vascular health information.

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