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Medical News and Perspectives
February 2, 2011

Picture This: The Average US Child Has Nearly 8 Imaging Tests by Age 18

JAMA. 2011;305(5):456. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.49

The number of diagnostic imaging tests that children in the United States receive has raised concerns that such tests might pose increased risks of cancer and other health conditions developing later in life.

Excluding dental x-rays, a new study shows that the average US child undergoes nearly 8 diagnostic imaging procedures by age 18 years (Dorfman AL et al. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. doi:10.1001 /archpediatrics.2010.270 [published online ahead of print January 3, 2011]). The analysis is the first large, population-based study examining the use of radiography, computed tomographic (CT) scans, and other imaging procedures in pediatric populations. Its findings are based on health insurance records of 355 088 children in 5 large US health care markets.

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