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Annual health screening: does it do more harm than good?
Telegraph (UK) ^ | October 17th, 2012 | Andrew M Brown

Posted on 02/10/2013 11:44:51 PM PST by neverdem

Do you have an annual health check? Plenty of people do. Health screening – general checks on people who don’t have any symptoms – is widely promoted by private doctors and health insurance companies – and popular. Successful executives, who are used to being in control, understandably think of their health as another area where, if they take prudent precautions, they can minimise risks.


And they are not suggesting that doctors shouldn’t screen or test patients when they suspect something is going on. They approve of targeted interventions for specific conditions.

More worrying, though, is the fact that there are the many possible undesirable effects of general checks. Stephanie Thompson and Marcello Tonelli of the Cochrane Library note that “the potential for harm is likely to exceed the potential for benefit when screening is implemented in a population where the overall risk of an unfavorable outcome is low”. You may get over-diagnosis, where the tests pick up a disease that, if it hadn’t been detected, would not have affected the quality or length of your life. Abnormal test results can also lead to the need for more tests, which means more risk, worry, lost income due to work absences, problems getting health insurance, and potentially increased healthcare costs.

The health checks studied weren’t completely useless. Some of them picked up cases of high blood pressure and raised cholesterol levels...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: health; healthscreening
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To: ops33
If you're satisfied with your results, then I'm glad for you.

Prostate cancer - watchful waiting

21 posted on 02/11/2013 1:03:40 PM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: wfu_deacons; EBH

Which is why we shouldn’t believe studies like this. The criteria are socialistic. America is built upon the premise of individual liberty. We need to move medicine back toward liberty and the free market.

All the trouble and burden our current system places on society were put in place by liberals believing that the trouble and burden should be on society. Now that the bills come due on their program it’s time to tell individuals that they cost society too much.

Don’t fall for it, change it.

22 posted on 02/12/2013 3:13:18 AM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: wfu_deacons

“The economic benefit for screening was a benefit to the individual in which the disease was detected but an economic loss for the society as a whole.”

Sounds like a background note for the creation of ObamaCare.

23 posted on 02/12/2013 3:28:12 AM PST by John W (Viva Cristo Rey!)
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To: 1010RD

Perfect and brilliant response!

One needs to consider when reading articles like this, the propaganda leans towards the medical need discussion, even though it is clearly discussing economics.

24 posted on 02/12/2013 3:30:29 AM PST by EBH ( The 2nd Amendment exists for times like this.)
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To: Vendome

Are you on Medicare and is that covering it?

I know people who’ve gone from less than annual checkups to quarterly “visits” with their doctor since they’re covered for it.

25 posted on 02/12/2013 3:47:53 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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Thanks. We just need to keep our perpective and skepticism. The current problem was a solution at one time and implemented by “well-meaning” liberals.

Economics is the new new thing for liberals. They love manipulating and now they can use real numbers and statistics to prove just about anything, plus using numbers makes them look smart.

I just stick to the principles and it’s amazing how they clarify the intentionally obscured information. It’s a confidence game and social engineering. I suspect that maybe 75% of what we get as news is really PR planting a story for a purpose.

26 posted on 02/12/2013 3:55:44 AM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: Rodamala

I have not seen a doctor in at least 20 years. I would have to think hard about the last one I saw. I have a dentist and see my dentist but I boycott doctors and they boycott me :)

27 posted on 02/12/2013 3:57:15 AM PST by dennisw (too much of a good thing is a bad thing --- Joe Pine)
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To: pepsionice; neverdem

The reason for annual or even semiannual physical is to gather numbers. The long term view can be assisted by analyzing the variance over a long period of time. Although actually seeing the patient and making a check of the actual living body yields results, the numbers gathered and analyzed are more important over the long haul.

Modern medicine is based on lots of numbers and the variance and interaction of those numbers over time. While it is possible to go overboard at any little change, it is prudent to allow time to be a part of the analysis. A change today can be checked in 6 months to determine the veracity of an important variance.

It is also true that there might be doctors that are greedy. If that is the fact, the patient is guilty of a purchasing error. Another doctor should be selected. There is also the problem of over testing resulting from fear of law suits. There is no way to remedy that problem until the current law is changed to remove the super penalties imposed. For routine care, that is also a purchasing error.

My experience this year is that the insurance company prefers to pay for checkups rather than a costly problem that could have been prevented or lessened. This is to the point where they pay a nurse practitioner to come to your home to have an interview and determine if a course of visits to the physician would be of benefit. This a proactive course. It was a problem for both me and my wife because we have the annual and semi annual care that the home visit is promoting to those who don’t or resist.

We have medicare advantage with the largest of the providers that is seriously out front promoting wellness rather than treatment after the fact. I view that as a very positive outcome

28 posted on 02/12/2013 4:51:11 AM PST by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 .....The fairest Deduction to be reduced is the Standard Deduction)
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To: 9YearLurker

Huh? FK no. Not that there’s anything wring with someone being on medicscare.

I really would only see him twice a year like I use to but they want to see you every three months for some reason.

It use to be I’d see my doctor and dentist on the same day. Now I just waste time seeing everyone. Dr. For muh shoulder. PT fer muh shoulder. Chiropractor and Sport Physic for my shoulder and upper back. Dentist and my regular doctor.

It’s a frickin full time job and I’m bout ready to quit.

Yuge waste of my time, at this point in my life and I’d rather my time was consumed with other activities.

Couple more months and I don’t care whut. I’m done.

Booooring .....

29 posted on 02/12/2013 11:49:42 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: 9YearLurker

Oh, I get charged $100 for some visits and $150 for others. No rhyme or reason.

30 posted on 02/12/2013 11:54:33 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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