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What are the pros and cons of Life Line screening?

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Among the benefits of Life Line Screening tests are their price, which allows patients access to inexpensive health screening, and the possibility that they may detect serious medical conditions before they become life-threatening, reports The Wall Street Journal. However the ultrasound tests in Life Line screening sometimes give false positive results, causing patients to pursue follow-up tests that may have negative side effects and get invasive surgery that they don't need.

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Life Line Screening typically performs its tests at community centers, churches and other public venues, often in cooperation with nearby hospitals or surgical centers, explains NPR. If the tests detect abnormalities, Life Line Screening refers patients to its partner medical facilities for further testing and care. The arrangement is lucrative for Life Line Screening and the facilities involved, and consumers should be suspicious of companies that advertise health treatments. Patients should check with their doctors before undergoing any health screening tests.

There is a risk that Life Line Screening tests may harm patients more than it helps them, according to NPR. For instance, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that adults should not receive carotid artery screening, which is one of the tests that Life Line Screening performs, if they manifest no symptoms. False positive results may provoke further exams and surgery that can increase a patient's risk of stroke. Once people become anxious about possible problems after health screenings, they often pursue aggressive treatment whether they need it or not.

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