Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health

Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health


By (author) H. Gilbert Welch

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  • Publisher: Beacon Press
  • Format: Paperback | 248 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 224mm x 22mm | 358g
  • Publication date: 1 March 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Boston, MA
  • ISBN 10: 0807021997
  • ISBN 13: 9780807021996
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 79,443

Product description

A complex web of factors has created the phenomenon of overdiagnosis: the popular media promotes fear of disease and perpetuates the myth that early, aggressive treatment is always best; in an attempt to avoid lawsuits, doctors have begun to leave no test undone, no abnormality overlooked; and profits are being made from screenings, medical procedures, and pharmaceuticals. Revealing the social, medical, and economic ramifications of a health-care system that overdiagnoses and overtreats patients, Dr. H. Gilbert Welch makes a reasoned call for change that would save us pain, worry, and money.

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Author information

Dr. H. Gilbert Welch is a renowned authority on the effects of medical screening who has appeared on "The Today Show, " CNN, NPR, and in the "New York Times" and "Washington Post." He and his coauthors, Dr. Lisa M. Schwartz and Dr. Steven Woloshin, nationally recognized experts in risk communication, are professors at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. "

Review quote

"One of the big strengths of this relatively small book is that if you are inclined to ponder medicine's larger questions, you get to tour them all. What is health, really?... In the finite endeavor that is life, when is it permissible to stop preventing things? And if the big questions just make you itchy, you can concentrate on the numbers instead: The authors explain most of the important statistical concepts behind evidence-based medicine in about as friendly a way as you are likely to find."--Abigail Zuger, MD, "The New York Times " ""Overdiagnosed" --albeit controversial--is a provocative, intellectually stimulating work. As such, all who are involved in health care, including physicians, allied health professionals, and all current or future patients, will be well served by reading and giving serious thought to the material presented."─ "JAMA" "Everyone should read this book before going to the doctor! Welcome evidence that more testing and treatment is not al

Table of contents

Table of Contents... Introduction: Our Enthusiasm for Diagnosis Chapter 1) Genesis: People Become Patients with High Blood Pressure Chapter 2) We Change the Rules: How Numbers Get Changed to Give You Diabetes, High Cholesterol, and Osteoporosis Chapter 3) We Are Able to See More: How Scans Give You Gallstones, Damaged Knee Cartilage, Bulging Discs, Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms, and Blood Clots Chapter 4) We Look Harder for Prostate Cancer: How Screening Made It Clear That Overdiagnosis Exists in Cancer Chapter 5) We Look Harder for Other Cancers Chapter 6) We Look Harder for Breast Cancer Chapter 7) We Stumble onto Incidentalomas That Might Be Cancer Chapter 8) We Look Harder for Everything Else: How Screening Gives You (and Your Baby) Another Set of Problems Chapter 9) We Confuse DNA with Disease: How Genetic Testing Will Give You Almost Anything Chapter 10) Get the Facts Chapter 11) Get the System Chapter 12) Get the Big Picture Conclusion: Pursuing Health with Less Diagnosis Acknowledgments Notes Index