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Supermarket chain hawking Quaker products & free cholesterol screening

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An online acquaintance in public health sent me this picture with this note:

What’s next? Get your free PSA w/ 3 boxes of selenium?

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In the fine print of the campaign by Cub Foods and their pharmacies, there is no mention of the age requirement for the coupon, nor of the recommended age for cholesterol screening.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force states:

Screening Men

* The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) strongly recommends screening men aged 35 and older for lipid disorders.

* The USPSTF recommends screening men aged 20 to 35 for lipid disorders if they are at increased risk for coronary heart disease.

Screening Women at Increased Risk

* The USPSTF strongly recommends screening women aged 45 and older for lipid disorders if they are at increased risk for coronary heart disease.

* The USPSTF recommends screening women aged 20 to 45 for lipid disorders if they are at increased risk for coronary heart disease.

Screening Young Men and All Women Not at Increased Risk

* The USPSTF makes no recommendation for or against routine screening for lipid disorders in men aged 20 to 35, or in women aged 20 and older who are not at increased risk for coronary heart disease.

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Comments (2)

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Paul Scott

March 31, 2011 at 8:37 am

Plus, if it isn’t picking up LDL subparticles, the screening mechanism is outdated, and just acts to send more people to the pharmacy for expensive drugs that do little to prevent illness. This whole grocery aisle cholesterol screening message is invariably about LDL, but LDL is a weak predictor of heart disease risk and total cholesterol is largely worthless as well. HDL is valuable in relation to LDL, but that’s not going to matter to 99 out of 100 people reading the results. We are fighting over whether to invest in prevention when we aren’t even willing to fix the mistaken assumptions in our etiology paradigms.