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AAA / AF Screening Project

Welcome to the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) and Atrial Fibrillation (AF) Screening Project. This is a joint initiative between Te Whatu Ora Waitematā and Te Toka Tumai-Auckland and your local doctor.

In 2016 – 2018 Waitematā and Auckland DHBs had a research project where we tested 2,500 Māori men and women across Auckland to see how common AAA is in Māori.  We discovered Māori are twice as likely to have a AAA as non-Māori. In 2019 – 2021 we did the same thing with Pacific men and now, to complete the research, we’d like to see if the same is true for Pacific women.

What is Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)?

Your aorta is the main blood vessel which takes blood from your heart to the lower part of your body. An aneurysm (you say “ann you rizz em”) is when the wall of the aorta gets weak and stretches, like a weak spot in a bike tyre.

Why is AAA important to know about?

AAA is hard to detect, and you may not feel unwell. The best way to find out if your aorta is ok is with an abdominal ultrasound. An AAA that gets very large may burst and cause internal bleeding which would require lifesaving surgery.

 What is the Pacific AAA Screening Project?

This part of the research is only for Pacific women, aged 65 – 74 years living in some parts of Auckland. We will only be screening women who have been invited to join the project. At the 30-minute appointment you will have an ultrasound scan of your tummy. The scan is quick, safe, and painless. You are very welcome to bring a family member or friend to your appointment as support.

Your test results will be explained to you at the end of the appointment, and we will send a copy of your results to your doctor. It is important to remember most people have a normal result. But if we do find you have an AAA you will be offered treatment or follow up at Auckland City Hospital. We will also check your heart rhythm along with your height, weight and blood pressure.  

The test, and any follow-up tests, are completely free as part of the project*

How do I book an appointment?

Once you have received your letter and are comfortable to continue, please call us on 0800 55 75 85 or text us on 021 198 8568 to book your 30-minute appointment. You can also contact us on these numbers for more information.

If you’re looking for support to quit smoking, you can contact our Smokefree Services. You can call or text the Smokefree team on 021 243 2146 or email

 *You must be eligible for New Zealand publicly funded health services

Informational brochure here

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