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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Not Uncommon in CABG Patients

Especially common in male smokers under 75 with peripheral arterial disease, carotid stenosis

WEDNESDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients who have undergone coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) are particularly common in men with a history of smoking and other vascular problems, including peripheral arterial disease (PAD), according to research published in the June 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Annabelle Dupont, Ph.D., of the University of Lille Nord de France, and colleagues analyzed data from 217 patients (mean age, 64 years) who underwent CABG for severe coronary artery disease. Patients -- 189 of whom were men -- underwent abdominal echocardiographic examinations of the aorta following surgery.

The researchers found asymptomatic AAAs in 15 patients (6.9 percent). All were men who currently smoked or had a history of smoking. Factors associated with AAAs by univariate analysis were smoking, symptomatic PAD, significant carotid artery stenosis, and larger diameters of femoral and popliteal arteries. The prevalence of AAA reached 24 percent in men under 75 who had smoked and had PAD or carotid artery stenosis.

"Despite the relatively small size of the study population, these data suggest that severe coronary artery disease could be associated with accelerated AAA development and that limiting the screening of AAA to men aged 65 to 75 years is not appropriate in men who undergo CABG. Larger community-based studies, including short- and long-term follow-up and cost-benefit evaluation, would confirm our results and may optimize AAA screening guidelines in patients who undergo CABG," the authors write.

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