About 6,000 persons die from an abdominal aortic aneurism each year with the overwhelming majority being male and over 65.   Until recently tests were only available privately - at a cost.  However in an attempt to reduce the figure by at last 50% the N.H.S. started to roll out a programme in 2011 that should be completed by 2013 covering the whole country.  (At the time of writing - September 2012 - all of No. 3 Region, apart from south and west Birmingham and Sandwell, is already covered.)  All males on reaching the age of 65 will be invited for a screening.  Those who were over 65 when the scheme started in their area will not be invited but can apply for a screening.  If you don’t ask you don’t get.   According to the N.H.S. website, http://aaa.screening.nhs.uk/ as many as I person in 25 in the at risk group has some weakening of the aortic wall.  The site has a FAQ section and details of who to contact to have a screening and how to do so.