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Radiation From CT Scans Not Always the Same
Date:2/3/2009

aid that worries about increased risk of cancer because of radiation exposure should be seen in the context of overall risk of death. "The people who benefit most from these scans are those in the older age range," he said. "Cancers tend to take 10 to 40 years to manifest themselves. Without these scans, they might never have lived to see the cancer."

What is missing thus far are studies of the risk-benefit balance of CT scans, both Einstein and Gerber said.

"Most of us understand that the benefits have never been demonstrated in such a study," Einstein said. "There are a number of proposals that have been submitted to the National Institutes of Health for such studies."

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more information on cardiac computed tomography.



SOURCES: Thomas C. Gerber, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine and radiology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla.; Andrew J. Einstein, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine in radiology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York City; Feb. 4, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association; Feb. 2, 2009, Circulation online


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