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Medical News and Perspectives |

Evidence Fails to Support ECG Screening for Those Without Heart Disease Symptoms

Mike Mitka
JAMA. 2011;306(19):2080. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1665.
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Physicians doing routine physical examinations on older individuals frequently call for a resting or exercise electrocardiogram (ECG) to detect heart abnormalities. Although screening ECGs in asymptomatic individuals do detect abnormalities associated with higher risk for adverse cardiovascular events, rigorous evidence is lacking to determine whether such tests actually change clinical actions and improve outcomes, said authors of a 2011 review (Chou R et al. Ann Intern Med. 2011;155[6]:375-385).

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A review affirms the US Preventive Services Task Force's 2004 recommendation against screening electrocardiograms in adults at low risk for coronary heart disease.

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