Leave Well Enough Alone

June 6, 2011
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A report by National Physicians Alliance (NPA), published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, advises Americans to get less health care:

A report by National Physicians Alliance (NPA), published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, advises Americans to get less health care:

  • For instance, the group discourages the use of blood and urine tests in healthy people, because they will probably yield few results and end up costing a lot.
  • It also cautions against heart tests such as ECGs or CT scans in symptom-free, low-risk individuals, because there is scant evidence that spotting cholesterol buildups provides any benefit in these people.
  • The NPA also recommends against imaging tests for lower back pain in the first six months, noting that such tests do not lead to better results.

For kids, the group urges doctors to hold off on antibiotics for a sore throat, unless the strep test comes back positive. Most sore throats are caused by viruses, which don’t respond to antibiotics, and using the drugs unnecessarily may fuel the spread of drug-resistant bacteria and expose patients to side effects, says Reuters.