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September 24, 2003

Screening for Coronary Calcification

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(12):1576. doi:10.1001/jama.290.12.1576-a

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.

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