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Medical News and Perspectives
November 16, 2011

Evidence Fails to Support ECG Screening for Those Without Heart Disease Symptoms

JAMA. 2011;306(19):2080. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1665

Physicians doing routine physical examinations on older individuals frequently call for a resting or exercise electrocardiogram (ECG) to detect heart abnormalities. Although screening ECGs in asymptomatic individuals do detect abnormalities associated with higher risk for adverse cardiovascular events, rigorous evidence is lacking to determine whether such tests actually change clinical actions and improve outcomes, said authors of a 2011 review (Chou R et al. Ann Intern Med. 2011;155[6]:375-385).