Health Beat blog: harm outweighs benefit in DTC marketing of heart screening

On the Health Beat blog, Naomi Freundlich writes, “Harm Outweighs Benefit when Cardiac Tests Are Marketed Directly to Consumers.

In this lengthy piece, she reflects on:

• marketing of heart scans, including to journalist Marshall Allen, who then wrote about it;

• a recent JAMA commentary that explored the campaigns of the LifeLine Screening company;

• Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of Los Angeles selling gift certificates for heart screening;

• a Teen Screen campaign pushing ECGs of young athletes.

She concludes:

“There is no place in this picture for the misleading and in some cases, blatantly false marketing that has increasingly been the strategy of testing centers that market their screening services directly to consumers.”

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