Skip to comments.Panel recommends against ECG tests for heart disease
Posted on 08/02/2012 5:38:15 PM PDT by neverdem
Testing electrical activity of the heart using an electrocardiogram is unlikely to help doctors figure out who is at risk of coronary heart disease, according to recommendations from a U.S. government-backed panel.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force wrote on Monday that there's no good evidence the test, also known as an ECG, helps doctors predict heart risks any better than traditional considerations such as smoking, blood pressure and cholesterol levels in people with no symptoms.
"It could potentially be helpful if we had evidence that doing a test like an ECG or an exercise ECG would better classify the people who are at high risk" of heart disease, said Joy Melnikow, a member of the task force from the University of California, Davis.
"Then we could intervene more actively with the very high-risk group which has the highest potential to benefit."
The task force, which published a statement in the Annals of Internal Medicine, recommends against ECG screening of people considered at low risk for heart disease and says there's not enough information to rule one way or the other on those at intermediate or high risk.
On the other hand, there are both costs and possible harms associated with screening healthy adults, Melnikow said.
"The concern is that if people are already at low risk of heart disease and they have one of those tests, if they have an abnormality on the test it's more likely it will be a false-positive result," she added.
"But an abnormal result, whether a false positive or true positive, generally leads..."
The new recommendations are an update of the USPSTF's 2004 guidelines, which also called for no screening in low-risk adults and said there was insufficient evidence to assess the risks and benefits for screening intermediate- and high-risk people...
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Government panel = death panel
You dont need no stinkin test
Obamacare doesn’t want to pay for it.
LOL! Yeah, they mean nothing.
I’m going tomorrow to get one from my cardiologist.
I’m sure that he will be quite surprised to know that it does nothing.
Obamacare is starting to sound like a scene from the Woody Allen movie “Sleeper”:
Dr. Orva: Here. You smoke this, and be sure you get the smoke deep down into your lungs.
Miles Monroe: I don’t smoke.
Dr. Orva: It’s tobacco. It’s one of the healthiest things for your body. Now go ahead. You need all the strength you can get.
Death Panel talk.
Every bloody time!
This is the nihilistic approach in action. Studies will be increasingly designed to show that various diagnostic and therapeutic interventions are futile. The Hippocratic oath of “do no harm” will be re-interpreted as do nothing.
Let’s face it, if the media wants to use absurd D+10 models in order to show that 0bama is winning, and if the Dem party pulls out all the stops to promote voter fraud, what’s to stop the government from funding bogus, fake medical studies to justify their policy positions?
If 0-care is not repealed, we will rapidly descend into a system that resembles he NHS. At that point, your doctor (or NP/PA) will be a de facto government employee worthy of the same trust and confidence as a politician.
My recollection is that my blood was drawn for the cholesterol test during the same visit as the 10 minute EKG. Gee, I guess I should have waited for the blood test to be evaluated and returned if it’s needed. Doesn’t sound like a good or cheap process to me.
Also, an EKG while you are still healthy provides a baseline. Doctors like to know when things change. If your baseline has irregularities then those same irregularities can be discounted if you later have a cardio event.
These folks may be good with statistics, but they need to get out of the lab and see more patients.
I’m sure older pilots will be so glad to hear this and the FAA will immediately stop requiring them.
“U.S. government-backed panel.” No, the implementation of the same poor care given in countries with socialist medicine. I’ve been using that as an excuse for years not to have certain tests done. “It’s not required at my age in _____ so I’m not paying for it here.”
As always in life, follow the money & ask yourself who benefits. The truth shall be revealed.
I would think the ECG was good for diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. So although it might not be definitive, it can serve to identify particular risk groups and should therefore be done as a screening test, perhaps at the 50 year checkup.
If Obamac are won’t cover it, do it yourself: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=home-is-where-the-ecg-is
OBAMA: But what we can do is make sure that at least some of the waste that exists in the system that’s not making anybody’s mom better, that is loading up on additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care, that at least we can let doctors know and your mom know that, you know what? Maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.
Read more at abcnews.go.com ...
Just the fact the you have a cardiologist says you have some sort of risk factor or diagnosis and are not part of the demographic this article references.
I remember back when I was about 27, slender, no drinking or smoking or family history. And yet they gave me an exercise ECG. That is the waste that's being discussed.
Anyone can come up with an anecdote — one individual, one test and it saved their life. This is supposed to justify giving everyone in the country that test every year or two. Yeah, right.