Last year, host of NBC’s Meet the Press, Tim Russert, shockingly collapsed and died from a heart attack, after apparently just passing a cardiovascular stress test.
It raised questions about typical heart tests. And now, new findings in the Archives of Internal Medicine claim commonly prescribed CT scans could increase the risk of radiation-induced cancer.
CT scans use radiation to generate a three-dimensional image of the inside of an object and are often used to detect things like brain tumors, stroke, aneurysm and the extent of trauma-related injuries.
In the study, scientists claim if men, ages 25 to 75, and women, ages 55 to 75, received CT scans every five years there would be an additional 42 cases of cancer for every 100,000 men and 62 more cases of cancer per 100,000 women.
The researchers say even though the increased risk is small, doctors should be careful to limit their patients’ exposure to radiation.
And in 2007, some experts came down hard on conventional stress-testing and angiograms.
Image credit: Stephen Poff