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Report: EKGs no help in preventing heart disease in low-risk patients, U.S. task force finds

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 3:14pm
Mass Device
electrocardiogram cardiac stress test

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends against using electrocardiograms in routine heart tests in patients at low risk for coronary heart disease.

Physicians should reconsider using electrocardiography routinely in healthy patients without symptoms of heart problems, according to the latest recommendation from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force.

The "incremental information" garnered from an EKG, whether testing at rest or during exercise, isn't likely to produce data that would help a physician better understand a patient's risk of coronary heart disease, according to the panel.

USPSTF gave EKG testing a "D" recommendation in use for healthy patients, which means the panel recommends against its use because "there is moderate or high certainty that the service has no net benefit or that the harms outweigh the benefits."

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