May 2, 2011
How to choose medical care that you truly need: • Familiarize yourself with the evidence for and against certain screenings. You may not need that vascular check after all. Start with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's guidelines for women and for men . These agencies have weighed the recommendations from various medical groups and specialties and arrived at...
November 20, 2012 |
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is calling for doctors to test most people ages 15 to 64, whether they fall in high-risk groups or not, for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. I see only one thing wrong with this proposal: We should have started doing it years ago. Decades ago. Admittedly, it's in more recent years that medicine has learned that treatment for HIV is more successful when it starts earlier rather than later. But long before we had any effective treatments for HIV infection, it was clear that if people knew they had AIDS, they could and usually would take steps to avoid infecting others, through safer-sex measures and the like.
January 27, 2012 |
Researchers with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday that percentages of Americans receiving recommended screenings for breast cancer, cervical cancer and colorectal cancer in 2010 did not reach targets -- with racial and ethnic populations lagging noticeably behind. The team's study , which was published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, was the first to examine disparities in Asian and Hispanic groups, according to a CDC release. Data was collected from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey . Overall, 72.4% of women ages 50 to 74 followed the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation to get a mammogram every two years . Healthy People 2020 , a government effort to improve health that sets goals for following screening guidelines, set a target of 81%. Eighty-three percent of women followed cervical cancer screening recommendations ; the Healthy People 2020 target was 93%. For colorectal cancer screening , 58.6% of Americans complied with recommendations.
January 18, 2011 |
Osteoporosis is a disease that often goes undetected in women -- until they break a bone. Now a federal task force recommends osteoporosis screening not just for women 65 and older, as has long been the case, but also for young women who show the same risk factors as a 65-year-old white woman. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force report published in the January issue of Annals of Internal Medicine says white women are used as the benchmark because they appear to be at higher risk for the disease than any other ethnic group.
February 22, 2012 |
Colon cancer is the third deadliest cancer in the U.S.; it is expected to kill more than 51,000 Americans this year, according to the American Cancer Society. Physicians have long assumed that removing precancerous polyps during patient colonoscopies reduces the numbers of such deaths. Now researchers have proved it. In a large, multi-decade study of more than 2,600 patients who had precancerous polyps removed during colonoscopies between 1980 and 1990, scientists at the Memorial Sloan-Ketting Cancer Center in New York and colleagues at other institutions found that removing the polyps reduced deaths from colon cancer in the group by 53%. An article detailing their results was published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
November 18, 2009 |
A core tenet of the healthcare overhaul President Obama is pushing through Congress is that medical care can be improved -- and costs contained -- if the country relies more on experts to determine which procedures and treatments work best. But Monday's mammography report by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force delivered a swift and stark reminder that few ideas are more explosive in healthcare. The expert panel -- which recommended that women in their 40s should no longer get annual mammograms to screen for breast cancer -- sparked an outcry from those who say that the federal government is more interested in saving money than in improving women's health, even though the panel did not consider costs in its analysis.
December 17, 2013 |
Looking for ways to save money in 2014? Here's some advice from doctors: Stop buying vitamins. Time after time, studies have shown that vitamin and mineral supplements don't prevent disease or death. And yet consumers keep buying them, lament the authors of an editorial published in Tuesday's edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine. A 2011 report from the National Center for Health Statistics estimated that 53% of American adults used some type of supplement in the years 2003 to 2006, with multivitamin/multimineral formulations being the most popular.
April 23, 2011 |
This story has been corrected. See note at bottom for details. For years, doctors have urged patients over the age of 50 to get colonoscopies to check for colorectal cancer , which kills 50,000 Americans a year. Their efforts were boosted last year by the federal health care law, which requires that key preventive services , including colonoscopies, be provided to patients at no out-of-pocket cost. But there's a wrinkle in the highly touted benefit. If doctors find and remove a polyp, which can be cancerous, some private insurers and Medicare hit the patient with a surprise: charges that could run several hundred dollars.
August 14, 2012 |
Women who were screened for partner violence and given a list of resources to help didn't have better health or less partner violence a year later than women who were not screened, researchers found. The research follows a call from numerous public health agencies, including the Institute of Medicine, for such screening, the researchers wrote in Tuesday's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Assn. They note that several other agencies including the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force have concluded there's not enough evidence to support the screening.
March 10, 1990 |
A routine physical checkup in the 1990s could become something quite different from what you're accustomed to. Doctors will probably be doing a lot less testing and a lot more talking about how to stay well. Most periodic physical exams should be devoted to counseling and motivating patients to adopt more healthful life styles, advises a recent report by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a group of 20 independent physicians and health experts working under the U.S.