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US Preventive Service Task Force Advises Against Screening for Heart Disease with an ECG

2714401733_edfc13f61d_zFlickr I Rennett Stowe

New guidelines in the Annals of Internal Medicine report that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) no longer recommends routine ECG’s as screening for coronary heart disease (CHD). After weighing the pros (detection of CHD and better patient outcomes) and cons (unnecessary testing, costs, and false-positive results), the USPSTF found that for low-risk patients “adequate evidence shows that the additional information that resting or exercise ECG offers beyond that obtained by measuring traditional risk factors is highly unlikely to ultimately reduce CHD events.” The USPSTF also concluded that the current evidence is “insufficient” in determining whether the screening is beneficial for intermediate or high risk patients.

Read it in the Annals of Internal Medicine.