Does screening for disease save lives in asymptomatic adults? Not really…

Should we be looking for disease in people who don’t have any symptoms?

Should we be looking for disease in people who don’t have any symptoms?
A large new study indicates the answer is NO. Image by Yasunari(康就) Nakamura(中村).

Screening for disease is a key component of modern healthcare. Yet, new surprising new research shows that few currently available screening tests for major diseases where death is a common outcome have documented reductions in disease-specific mortality. Evidence was evaluated on 16 screening tests for 9 major diseases where mortality is a common outcome. The researchers found 45 randomized controlled trials and 98 meta-analyses that evaluated disease-specific or all-cause mortality. Reductions in disease-specific mortality were uncommon and reductions in all-cause mortality were very uncommon.

Sources and more information

  • Does screening asymptomatic adults for disease save lives?,
    Oxford University Press (OUP), 13 January 2015.
  • Does screening for disease save lives in asymptomatic adults? Systematic review of meta-analyses and randomized trials, Int. J. Epidemiol. (2015),
    doi: 10.1093/ije/dyu140, January 15, 2015.
  • Cancer $creening Doesn’t Save Lives, Meta-Study Reveals,
    greenmedinfo, January 15th 2015.

8 thoughts on “Does screening for disease save lives in asymptomatic adults? Not really…”

  1. Now, that is very interesting. It’s worth one taking a closer look. Thanks for sharing, Dominique!
    Victor

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