Published on June 14, 2012 at 6:52 AM
The use of diagnostic imaging has nearly tripled since the mid-1990s, according to a new study, raising questions about whether the benefits outweigh the risks of increased radiation exposure.
Los Angeles Times: Use Of Imaging Tests Soars, Raising Questions On Radiation Risk
Advanced imaging adds about $100 billion to U.S. medical bills each year, said study leader Rebecca Smith-Bindman, a radiologist and epidemiologist at UC San Francisco. There is widespread agreement in the medical community that imaging tests are overutilized, particularly CT scans (Bardin, 6/12).
Reuters: Imaging Use Up In U.S. HMOs, Adds To Radiation Worry
Use of diagnostic imaging in the United States has doubled since the mid-1990s, raising fears that radiation exposure from technologies such as computed tomography (CT) scans may raise a person's lifetime cancer risk, researchers said on Tuesday. Previous research had shown rising usage in patients in the government's Medicare insurance program for the elderly. The new study showed use of imaging technologies rising by about the same amount in health maintenance organizations (HMOs) in the private sector, underscoring concerns about radiation exposure (Steenhuysen, 6/12).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.