Medicare Reimbursement for Lung Cancer Screening Provokes Debate

Although 160,000 people in the U.S. die each year from lung cancer, accounting for more than a quarter of all cancer deaths, screening for lung cancer remains controversial. Based on results from the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) in 2011, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a B recommendation in favor of low-dose…

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ACC And AHA Don’t Recommend Routine ECG Screening Of Young People

In a new scientific statement the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology do not recommend the routine initial use of ECGs to screen young people for underlying congenital or genetic heart disease. More aggressive screening for heart disease in young people is often advocated in response to pressure resulting from the rare but tragic cases of…

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Study Casts Doubt On Value Of Genetic Testing For Familial Hypercholesterolemia

A new study published online in the Lancet suggests that one of the main screening plans that relies on genetic tests will fail to identify a substantial portion of people with familial hypercholesterolemia. Investigators from the UK and Belgium analyzed DNA from several cohorts of FH and non-FH patients. Their chief finding was that a large percentage…

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Model Finds High Cost For ECG Screening Of Athletes

A national program of ECG screening for U.S. athletes would save almost 5,000 lives over 20 years but would cost more than $50 billion dollars, according to a paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The advisability of routine ECG screening for athletes has divided the experts: currently the ESC recommends ECG screening…

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UK Study Casts Doubts On Value Of Type 2 Diabetes Screening

The dramatic growth in type 2 diabetes has resulted in increased interest in screening programs. Now a new study published in the Lancet raises concerns that screening programs may not result in long-term improvement in outcomes. In the ADDITION-Cambridge study, investigators in the UK randomized general practices to either screening or no screening.  The practices allocated to…

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Screening For AAA Comes Under Renewed Scrutiny And Criticism

A 2007 Medicare initiative to increase AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm) screening in appropriate patients failed to prevent AAA rupture or reduce all-cause mortality, according to a new study published in Archives of Internal Medicine. The larger implications of the study are unclear, but two accompanying papers, an invited commentary and a perspective, emphasize the darker side of…

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USPSTF Maintains Recommendation Against ECG Screening Of Asymptomatic Low-Risk Adults

The  US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has reaffirmed its 2004 recommendation against ECG screening for asymptomatic adults who are already at low risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). The Task Force also concluded that there was insufficient evidence to assess the risks and benefits of ECG screening in asymptomatic people at intermediate- or high-risk for…

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