Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Dr O'Malley and colleagues1 found that receipt of a screening "heart scan"
provided neither benefit nor harm to a young, predominantly male military
population at low 10-year risk of incident coronary heart disease (CHD).
Nevertheless, I remain concerned about the potential harms of computed
tomography (CT) screening for CHD among older populations, particularly when
undertaken outside of the context of research protocols. A visual diagnosis
of silent CHD could have adverse mental health consequences in older patients
who seek testing to allay fears of myocardial infarction and sudden death.
Fenton JJ. Screening for Coronary Calcification. JAMA. 2003;290(12):1576. doi:10.1001/jama.290.12.1576-a