Prevalence of aortic aneurysms at abdominal ultrasound and associated findings among hypertensive adults (≥50years) at Mulago Hospital.
Nseko, Mugabi Samuel
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Background An abdominal aortic aneurysm is defined by an increase in the diameter of the abdominal aorta in excess of 3cm. Hypertension and advanced age are some of the risk factors for development of abdominal aortic aneurysms. Screening for AAA among predisposed individuals by the use of abdominal ultrasonography is done in many centres especially in the western world. Early diagnosis of AAA is necessary for early surgical intervention which prevents complications including rupture and death. For a screening program to be cost effective, AAA should be of a significant prevalence. There was no data depicting the prevalence of AAA in susceptible populations in Uganda. This study aim was to determine the prevalence of AAA among patients fifty years and over attending the hypertension clinic in Mulago hospital, Kampala. With a significant prevalence, a screening program may be initiated for susceptible patients. Methods A descriptive cross sectional study was done on randomly selected patients aged 50 years and above in the hypertension clinic (N=130). The collection and analysis of data was done in two months with the total duration of the research process being eleven months Most participants (51.5%) were between the age of 50 and 59 years The widest diameter of the infrarenal aorta was measured using transabdominal ultrasonography. Patients were evaluated for the presence of other risk factors for the development of aortic aneurysms using a questionnaire. Data was collected using a questionnaire, coded and entered into an EPIDATA database. Analysis was done using SPSS version 16. Parametric tests were run to compare the age of respondents versus abdominal aortic diameter, sex versus abdominal aortic diameter, sex versus the diameter of common iliac vessels, sex versus the length of the kidneys and sociodemographic factors versus abdominal aortic diameter. Data was displayed using pie charts, tables and bar graphs. Conclusion The prevalence of AAA was 1.5. No statistically significant association could be drawn from comparison of AAA and sociodemographic factors, smoking status, alcohol consumption and patient symptoms due to the small number of AAAs. A significant familial association of cardiovascular diseases was found among the study participants. Further studies with larger numbers are recommended.