The threshold for diagnosing common conditions such as high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease and gestational diabetes have all lowered in recent years. But for whose benefit?
Sarah and Donna are 26 weeks pregnant and have the same blood sugar levels. But while Donna is diagnosed with gestational diabetes, Sarah is spared from the label. It comes down to where she lives.
New tests may mean more people are diagnosed, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be helped by the label or the treatment. Here are five markers that overdiagnosis may be occuring.
Labelling very low-risk conditions as cancers can cause unnecessary anxiety and lead to overtreatment.
Unfortunately, there is no net benefit-ometer for breast cancer screening.
Previously, a person would be diagnosed with high blood pressure if their systolic reading was 140mmHg. But it's recommended this threshold be lowered to 130mmHg, which will do more harm than good.
Since the 1980s, PSA tests have been used for the diagnosis and follow-up of prostate cancer. However, its use as a screening test for prostate cancer remains controversial.
Rates of spinal fusion surgery for back pain are on the rise. This is despite little evidence that it's an effective procedure and studies showing many will have revision surgery within ten years.
The majority of research suggests the benefits of mammography screening greatly outweigh the harms for women over age 40.
Australian health-care organisations are urging action on treatments of people who don't need them.
Two major studies cast doubt on the value of screening for prostate cancer, yet it continues regardless.
More of us are labelled as sick with the constantly changing diagnostic cut-offs for diseases. Now an international expert panel has drafted a list of things to consider before setting new thresholds.
Reducing health-care waste relating to unnecessary tests has been a major priority for researchers, governments and health services for decades. But how do we change the behaviour of doctors?
It's not necessarily the case children who are young for their year are being inappropriately diagnosed with ADHD. This is a simplistic analysis.
The drug's limited effectiveness and side-effects should cause potential users to rethink their purchase.
The creation of new “pre-conditions” is turning millions of people into patients across the globe.
Harm doesn’t just come in the form of side-effects or further testing. The "cons" of any treatment also include the costs, which can be financial, emotional, and the costs of the individual’s time.
This was the year of the health review – mental health care, Medicare, private health insurance, the pharmacy industry ... and the list goes on. But how much movement was there on policy?
The evidence suggests too much medicine is doing us harm, particularly when treating knee pain, back pain, chest pain and screening for prostate cancer.
To avoid ineffective treatments, we need a new way to identify and reduce questionable care. A new Grattan Institute report shows how to do it.