July 22nd, 2013
Echocardiography is a safe, noninvasive tool to image the heart without the use of radiation. For this reason it has become the most frequently used method to look at the heart for a wide variety of medical indications. Now two new studies suggest that, despite its popularity, transthoracic echocardiography is often not beneficial. One study […]
April 5th, 2013
Our panel sketches out the scope of this growing discipline.
February 21st, 2013
The recent introduction of two drugs specifically targeted to treat people with the rare but dangerous condition of homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) has caused increased interest in figuring out the best strategy to identify people with the disorder. Now a new study published online in the Lancet suggests that one of the main screening plans that relies on genetic […]
October 4th, 2012
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 U.K. randomized general practices to either screening or no screening. The practices allocated to screening were […]
July 30th, 2012
The U.S. 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 […]
May 2nd, 2012
A “dizzy” New York Times article exploring whether to screen young athletes for heart risk leaves out relevant research and exaggerates some pretty important numbers.
February 13th, 2012
This week’s topics include communicating with patients about screening and treatment and the association between blood-pressure-lowering drugs and gout.
August 22nd, 2011
An analysis of recent health news coverage in the mainstream media: “Exit complexity. Enter stupidity.”
June 25th, 2011
In the ADDITION-Europe trial, 3055 patients without diabetes were randomized to either routine care or screening followed by intensive treatment of multiple risk factors. The results were presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting and published online in the Lancet. After five years, cardiovascular risk factors — HbA1c, lipids, and blood pressure — were “slightly but significantly better in the […]
June 22nd, 2011
Two commentaries published in JAMA offer skeptical perspectives on the roles of direct-to-consumer (DTC) cardiac tests and vitamin D in cardiovascular health. In the first commentary, Kimberly Lovett and Bryan Liang write that DTC screening tests “likely pose more risk than benefit to patients,” and point out that for companies selling these tests there is no requirement […]