More Harm Than Good: What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Common Treatments and Procedures
Albuquerque physicians Zelicoff and Bellomo (co-authors of Microbe: Are We Ready for the Next Plague?) make a case that ""scientifically and economically proven treatments-that save both lives and money-are being underused"" in favor of unnecessarily expensive and/or invasive treatments. Based primarily on the ongoing, 40-year-old Dartmouth study of veterans' and Medicare recipients' health care, and measuring in terms of dollars spent per ""quality-adjusted life year,"" Zelicoff and Belloma look at the medical establishment in relation to individual diseases, their detection and treatment. Among their conclusions: cardiovascular disease is better handled with aspirin and blood pressure medication for the at-risk than with expensive cholesterol medication and bypass surgery for those in the thick of it. Readers may find it difficult to get their minds around a system that finds prostate cancer screening of questionable value and mammograms unnecessary before the age of 40, but Zelicoff and Bellomo provide some startling insights that will give readers questions worth asking at the next checkup.