ECGs Help Keep Your Heart Healthy - Or Does it?
In a recent report presented by the USPSTF the chances of ECG screening actually saving your life in the future was put to a serious test. According to the group, there was no real conclusive proof that would encourage the use of ECGs to prevent death. In fact, strong evidence suggests that it may actually cause death or health problems in some cases.
The information isn't new though. Various doctors have refuted the use of an ECG as a screening method in patients that do not seem to show any actual symptoms of heart disease. The group said the same thing in a previously published report in 2004, but not much had been done to heed the warning. So even if your health insurance policy covers for ECG, you need to be wary about going through the procedure if there are no major indications that you have heart problems.
ECGs, also called electrocardiograms are designed to help doctors understand the electrical behaviours of the heart. This is normally done in your routine stress test and goes through the motions from rest to physical activity. Electrocardiograms are typically conducted by most doctors as a method to screen for irregularities in electrical function.
However, the study shows that there is little proof that this actually works. Some patients have undergone other procedures because of test results only to find out that there was nothing wrong in the first place. For a flailing economy and our current health insurance system thatıs bad news. Instead of having precious dollars spent on something that actually works, we continue to spend on something that is unsure. That's why it is hoped that the study will shed some more light on tests with real benefits.
The study for the said report was conducted using a panel of experts. The experts were led by Dr. Roger Chou. According to Dr. Chou, though in some cases the results did help to forecast some sort of potential problem eventually, this wasn't a good enough reason to continue with the tests. Dr. Chou, who is from Portlandıs Oregon Health and Science University, advises along with his panel that clinical tests proving the value of ECGs as a screening tool is not substantial.
Heart attacks and strokes are one of the biggest killers of Americans. This is probably why so many of us are willing to use our money through our health insurance coverage on using ECGs for screening. The question is whether it's beneficial and what we have to do if it isn't.
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