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Are Life Line screenings just a medical fad?

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Quick Answer

Life Line Health Screenings was created in 1993 and claims to have screened more than 8 million people at events across the United States as of 2015, notes the company's website. These events continue to be scheduled despite reports from various news organizations, such as NPR News, Kaiser Health News and Public Citizen, that claim screenings may do more harm than good.

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Full Answer

Life Line conducts approximately 16,000 screening events in the United States annually, however, some of the health screenings offered, may lead to invasive procedures that could harm patients by overtreating, notes NPR. One of Life Lines' suggested screenings includes a carotid artery test which is on a list, published by the American Academy of Family Physicians, of screenings to avoid. The screening, subsequent evaluation and possible surgery could lead to a stroke that would not have occurred without the screening test.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend four out of five tests offered in packages by Life Line for adults who are otherwise healthy, says Kaiser Health News. A coalition of 19 doctor organizations believes that two tests from Life Line are among the 130 screenings and procedures overused by physicians and their patients. The main concern revolves around screenings that produce false positive results. Additionally, the consumer group Public Citizen claims that Life Line's advertising is deceptive and misleading, according to AboutLawsuits.com.

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