Gender-specific Predicted Normal Aortic Size and Its Consequences of the Population-Based Prevalence of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

Joachim S.S. Kristensen*, Lasse M. Obel, Marie Dahl, Annette Høgh, Jes S. Lindholt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background: To investigate if a relative-size-index of the abdominal aortic diameter influences the prevalence estimates of abdominal aortic dilatations compared to absolute diameters. Methods: Cross-sectional study. Participants from the Viborg Vascular Screening Trial, Viborg Women Cohort, and the Viborg Screening Program. Through multivariate linear regression analyses, 2 gender-specific prediction-equations were developed based upon body-surface area and age. The definitions of absolute and relative size of aortic ectasies were 25–29 mm and 1.25–1.49× individual-predicted size (IPS), abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) 30 mm and 1.5× IPS, and large repair-recommendable AAA ≥55 mm or ≥ 2.75× IPS, respectively. Results: Nineteen thousand two hundred and sixty nine males (69.6 years) and 2,426 females (67.1 years) attended the population- and ultrasound-based screening studies for AAA. The mean peak systolic abdominal anterior-posterior inner to inner diameter was 19.1 mm (±5.3 mm) and 16.6 mm (±2.8 mm) (P < 0.001) in males and females, respectively. Body surface area showed the strongest correlation with aortic diameters in both males (r = 0.19, P < 0.001) and females (r = 0.17, P < 0.001). Age correlated significantly with size, but only in males (r = 0.03, P < 0.001). The prevalence in men of absolute size–defined and relative size index–defined screening-detected aortic ectasies, AAAs and repair-recommendable AAAs were: 5.9% and 9.5% (P < 0.001), 3.3% and 4.2% (P < 0.001) and 9.9% and 15.2% (P = 0.004), respectively. Prevalence in females of absolute-size-defined and relative-size-index-defined screening-detected aortic ectasies, AAAs and repair-recommendable AAAs were 1.2% and 5.8% (P < 0.001), 0.5% and 1.3% (P = 0.003) and 0.0% and 23.1% (P = 0.553), respectively. Conclusions: Despite statistical differences, ultrasound-based absolute diameters to detect AAA seem acceptable in men. In females, poor agreements were noticed concerning all 3 categories of aneurysms, indicating that the current absolute diagnostic cut-points do not reflect female anatomy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
Pages (from-to)127-134
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal/diagnostic imaging
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


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