Doctors in Gloucestershire scheme say they have reduced deaths by 40% by screening men for a heart defect.
Men are more likely to suffer an aortic aneurysm
The medics are now calling for the test - which identifies aortic aneurysms - to be rolled out nationwide.
The screening programme has been running for 13 years at an annual cost of £43,000.
Men aged 65 are tested using ultra-sound scans. It is thought a nationwide roll out would cost £50m a year.
Around 3,000 men are invited for screening each year and those who are found to have a potential problem are referred for further investigation.
Doctors involved in the Gloucestershire scheme wrote in the British Medical Journal: "The scientific arguments for a national screening programme for aneurysms are cogent.
"We believe that the UK's family doctor-based health system puts it in an ideal position to be the first country to start national screening."
The £50m figure was quoted in the journal by Professor Roger Greenhalgh, from Charing Cross Hospital.