Task Force Still Recommends Against Routine ECG Screening

Recommendation against screening for low-risk adults; insufficient evidence for high-risk adults

TUESDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- In an update of the 2004 recommendations, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) continues to recommend against routine use of electrocardiogram (ECG) screening of asymptomatic adults for coronary heart disease (CHD), according to a scientific statement published online July 31 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The USPSTF examined new evidence on the benefits of screening with ECG to reduce the risk of CHD events in asymptomatic adults; the effect of identifying high-risk adults; the accuracy of risk stratification; and the potential harms of screening.

For asymptomatic adults at low risk for CHD events, the authors recommend against screening with resting or exercise ECG. For asymptomatic adults at intermediate or high risk for CHD events, the USPSTF concludes that there is currently insufficient evidence to weigh the benefits and harms of screening with resting or exercise ECG.

"This recommendation updates the 2004 recommendation," the authors write. "As in 2004, the USPSTF continues to recommend against screening in low-risk adults, and found insufficient evidence on screening in adults at increased risk."

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