Monday, 14 December 2015

Overscreening: new excess data

JAMA Internal Medicine has just published the results of a study from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) - US in the period 2000 to 2010. The study included 27,404 participants aged 65 years or more, and used a NHIS specific index to assess the risk of mortality to 9 years of life.

The conclusion is that a substantial proportion of US population with limited life expectations received screenings for prostate, breast and colorectal cancer. These results show that the overscreening is standard practice in the US. These practices, the study's authors relate, rarely produce any benefits to these population groups and instead, increase health spending and induce therapeutic overbearing from with complications arise.

This American study warns us that we need more professional and social debate, not only about the advantages and disadvantages of preventive practices in healthy people, but also about the limits of such practices in geriatric patients who already have their own clinical management difficulties.

Jordi Varela


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