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At the time of the 1992-1994 annual reviews in the thrombosis prevention trial, general practitioners (GPs) carried out clinical examination for aneurysms by abdominal palpation in 4171 men. When an aneurysm was suspected, the patient was referred to hospital for further investigation. Aneurysm was suspected in 60 men (1.4%) and confirmed in 25 (0.6%), the mean diameter of confirmed aneurysms being 5.0 cm (range = 3.1-8.0 cm). Of the 25 men in whom aneurysm was confirmed, 10 (40%) underwent elective surgery and one died while under investigation. Examination by abdominal palpation for aortic aneurysm, which is not widely used in either general practice or in hospital practice, other than vascular surgery, is clinically worthwhile even though not all aneurysms will be detected by this means.