PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Doctors call it a "silent killer," and say most people don't know they have it until it's too late.
It's abdominal aortic aneurysm, or triple A, and about one million Americans unknowingly have it, according to vascular surgeon Dr. Jens Jorgensen.
"If the aneurysm ruptures and it was not known to be present, then it's usually a fatal event," said Dr. Jorgensen.
AAA is the third leading cause of unexpected death in men over 60 in the U.S.
If the aneurysm bursts, only 10-25% of victims survive.
Dr. Jorgensen is urging people 60 years or older to get screened for AAA.
Nonprofit Aneurysm Outreach is offering free screenings for people over the age of 60, and brought a mobile screening lab to Portland Saturday.
Henk Pols was one of the 80 people screened, and said the 15 minute ultrasound test was worth the peace of mind.
"In recent pasts, some people that were rather close to us had a brain aneurysm," said Pols. "So these things start you to think."
Risk factors for AAA include:
- Advanced years
- Family history of AAA
For more information about screenings, visit AneurysmOutreach.org.