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Important Community information!
Last week a flier from Lifeline screening appeared in the paper encouraging screening for carotid blockage and other vascular diseases. It should be absolutely clear that this was an advertisement from a company trying to make money. It was not medical advice.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended against the use of carotid artery screening in adult patients without a history of stroke, transient ischemic attack or other signs of blockage. Current strategies for screening "have imperfect detection and could lead to unnecessary surgery and result in serious harms, including death, stroke and heart attack," according to the final document, which updates a 2007 statement. The recommendations appear in this months Annals of Internal Medicine.
In addition, false positive or equivocal results from mobile testing often results in much more expensive retesting and significant test anxiety that very likely is unnecessary. If you are considering medical testing, ask your family doctor first if you really need the test and if it is appropriate for you.
Dr. Scott Dunn