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Articles in JAMA Int Med suggest echocardiography and bone densitometry overused

It’s interesting how journalists may jump all over featured articles in medical journals, while failing to report on others in the same journal with common themes.

Such is the case with:

  • But – as of this writing – no mainstream news media coverage of a research letter published online on the same day, ” ‘Due’ for a Scan: Examining the Utility of Monitoring Densitometry.” Its conclusion:
    • “Our data indicate that clinicians frequently order monitoring DXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) scans out of a perception that they are due and rarely make changes in treatment based on the results. Even when DXA showed a significant decrease in BMD (bone mineral density), treatment changes were uncommon. We are aware of no other studies that have assessed clinician rationale for ordering monitoring DXA or treatment changes that follow interpretation of the results. …

      How often monitoring DXA should be used is uncertain, although finite health resources and our obligation to avoid unnecessary interventions require us to reconsider routine use of monitoring DXA among average-risk women who are receiving treatment for low BMD.”

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