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October 16, 1981

Baseline ECGs-Reply

Author Affiliations

UCLA School of Medicine

JAMA. 1981;246(16):1770-1771. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320160012014

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In Reply.—  Dr Selzer's comments restate the usual rationale for baseline ECGs. He seems disturbed that the institution is questioned in our article, especially in light of his task force's conclusions. As we stated, his task force was only one of several such groups of experts offering opinions on the matter of routine ECGs, and each group reached different conclusions as to whether routine ECGs are indicated in the asymptomatic population, and, if so, how frequently—ranging from not at all to annually after the age of 35 years. Clearly, there are differing opinions among experts, based largely on lack of data. Our study attempted to collect just such data.As he states, we did not address the value of baseline ECGs among persons with known heart disease, for whom, we would acknowledge, the value would probably be substantially higher. We looked only at the asymptomatic adult population without known preexisting