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Emory holds free screening to detect "silent killer"

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Jennifer Johnson McEwen
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In a new video, vascular surgeon Yazan Duwayri explains the nature of abdominal aortic aneurysms, why someone might be screened for the condition, and what is involved in the testing.

On Saturday, June 14 the Emory Heart & Vascular Center is hosting a free screening to check for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), often referred to as "triple A."

An aneurysm is a bulge or "ballooning" in the wall of an artery that can burst and cause dangerous bleeding or even death. The Emory screening is in partnership with AAAneurysm Outreach, a national non-profit organization raising awareness about AAA.

"The average person has either never heard of an aneurysm or assumes that it only occurs in the blood vessels in the head," says Sheila Arrington, the founder of AAAneurysm Outreach. "AAA is, however, the most common aneurysm and a silent killer that can best be described as a time bomb in the body."

Screening for AAA involves a quick, non-invasive ultrasound of the abdomen, similar to a pregnancy ultrasound. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AAA is usually caused by atherosclerosis (hardened arteries), and typically does not have symptoms.

 "Aneurysms can develop and become large before causing any symptoms. By the time a person is feeling symptoms, it is often too late to help and rupture has either occurred or is imminent," says vascular surgeon Yazan Duwayri, MD, assistant professor of surgery. "Screenings like this one are critical to help us identify patients at risk."

AAAneurysm Outreach recommends screenings once every five years to individuals over 60 who have two cardiovascular risk factors and also to men over 55 who have a family history of AAA and one cardiovascular risk factor. 

Event Details

WHEN:   Saturday, June 14, 8 a.m. - noon

WHERE:   The Emory Clinic, Building A, 1365 Clifton Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30322.

HOW:    Call 888-233-6764 to schedule a screening appointment. Advance registration is required and space is limited.

MEDIA INFO: For parking information and to confirm attendance and coverage of this event, please contact Jennifer Johnson at 404-727-5696 or

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