Many colonoscopies performed on adults over 70 years of age are unlikely to benefit from them after another examination.

Such systems open people to the dangers of colonoscopy without providing evidence that they are likely to benefit from it according to the study. For example, the screening test for malignant colon growth might be considered inappropriate if it is done more often than suggested or is done in patients who are more established than 75.

The study found that 23.4% of colonoscopies performed for more than one year in more established adults were inappropriate. The analysts generally used information from Medicare data in Texas.

Where patients live and which doctor they see affects the likelihood of going through an inappropriate system, said study scientist Kristin Sheffield, an associate teacher of medical procedures at the University of Texas Medical Department. “For certain doctors, more than 30% of the colonoscopies they perform may have been wrong, as shown by the screening rules,” she said.

The degree of diversity between doctors in the investigation “suggests that there are some suppliers who are abusing colonoscopy for screening purposes in more established adults,” Sheffield said.

The US Preventive Services Task Force [s1] stipulates that people who are not known to be at high risk for malignant growth of the colon should begin normal screening for infection at age 50 and adaptive sigmoidoscopy) should be performed at regular intervals and is not required after age 75.

According to Sheffield, bowel disease will generally progress gradually, so early detection is less likely to benefit more experienced adults. At the same time, colonoscopies are associated with the risk of entanglement, such as a hole in the digestive tract, drainage or incontinence.

Not only are fake colonoscopies unlikely to help patients, but they also burn assets that could be used all the more successfully for people who need colonoscopies and do not get them, Sheffield said.

Sheffield and her partners looked closely at information on 75,000 colonoscopies performed in Texas between October 2008 and September 2009. They have also looked at information from allegations about the USA for correlation.

Ultimately, it is the patients who decide whether they should have a colonoscopy. Nevertheless, doctors and medical conditions have an impact on these decisions, the analysts wrote in their study.

The new findings imply that more established patients and their suppliers should be aware of the screening rules and the dangers of colonoscopy. “We trust that efforts will be made to bring screening practices into line with current rules,” Sheffield said, possibly through better correspondence between specialists and government-funded educational missions to counter misperceptions.

At the moment when more established patients are clearly more willing to undergo screening, she said that she and her suppliers could consider elective screening techniques at this stage that are less hazardous, such as a test for mysterious blood in stool.

The test was distributed today (11 March) in the diary JAMA Internal Medicine.

Pass it on: Colonoscopies for experienced adults can pose unnecessary risks.

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