Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Taking Prevention to the Streets

... with a "Heart Cart" that has a remarkable positive screening rate:
Since implementation in 2008, Francis said more than 1,500 individuals have been screened through the Heart Cart. And of those screened, 50 percent of individuals had abnormal findings.

Francis urged all men and women 21 and older to get screened and learn the risk factors.

"The Heart Cart is available to anyone. You don't need a doctor's order to get screened," she said. "The earlier the risks are found, the earlier somebody could take action and prevent a cardiac event from occurring."

Jamie Howell, who helps schedule Heart Cart screenings, said the process is empowering.
But the article fails to note there are downsides to screening, too, like additional non-invasive and invasive testing that might be required once "positive" screening test are identified. Clearly, doing screenings on "all men and women 21 and older," especially those who are asymptomatic and have no family history of heart disease, probably isn't wise for most.

But then again, it's your money... just be sure you know what will happen (and what it will cost) if a test is reported as positive. After all, it seems there's a good chance this van's testing will be, even if you're perfectly healthy.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Like my friend, who fell for one of these screening schemes and had abnormal results on total cholesterol (because her LDL is very high; HDL was excellent), CRP, and EKG. This provoked a visit to her PCP, at which visit (because she was nervous, having been convinced that she had heart disease) her BP was slightly elevated. Next stop: nuclear stress test, for a woman with no personal or family history of heart disease and so symptomless that she spends an hour every day walking briskly on a treadmill. There is, of course, not a damned thing wrong with her cardiovascular system.