USPSTF Says No to ECG in Low-Risk Patients

6:34 am Health Care

US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced that individuals who face a low risk of cardiovascular disease should not undergo routine screening with electrocardiography.

American College of Cardiology Foundation contends that EKG is a reasonable testing option for individuals with diabetes or hypertension, as both conditions may increase CV risk.

The recommendations, published online in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, made the test the latest addition to an expanding list of once routine screening tools that have fallen out of favor.

For individuals at higher risk of heart disease, the panel found there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to determine the benefits and harms of screening with the EKG test — either at rest or during exercise — and advised that it be considered case by case basis.

An EKG given to a patient at rest or while exercising won’t predict heart disease or a coronary event in people who are not at high risk of having heart problems. The guidelines carry a grade ‘D’ recommendation, meaning physicians should not offer the tests.

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