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Study: Most medical tests avoidable

Over-diagnosis and over-treatment, leads to further stress due to false positive test results

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Sep 18 2016 3:39PM | Updated Date: Sep 18 2016 3:39PM

Study: Most medical tests avoidable

Representative image

In India a trend was seen that every third adult suffered from hypertension and heart attacks a decade earlier than in Westerners.
But researcher did the assessment of 25 health packages and it was found that most tests don't really have a bearing on the overall health of an individual.
Dr Yash Lokhandwala, the main author of the study said routine health checkups as practiced in urban India are useless as far as community health is concerned.
"There is no rationale for performing tests such as vitamin D, vitamin B12, thyroid stimulating hormone, electrolytes, pulmonary function tests, among others, as a part of `health check-up' for the general population," he said.
The study concluded that apart from financial and resource burden, many health checks led to over-diagnosis and over-treatment, psychological distress due to false positive test results.
According to the study most hospitals offered health checks because they felt it was a way to increase admissions.
The study looked at health packages, costing between Rs 1,650 (for a `mini' health check-up) to Rs 59,500. It was appeared in the National Medical Journal of India.