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Broader definition of polycystic ovary syndrome risks “fear and anxiety” warn experts

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Broader definition of polycystic ovary syndrome risks “fear and anxiety” warn experts

The BMJ publishes several articles to mark international conference to stop harming the healthy

A broader definition of polycystic ovary syndrome has contributed to a steep rise in diagnoses, particularly among younger women, and risks “fear and anxiety about future fertility and long term health” warn experts in The BMJ today.

Tessa Copp at the University of Sydney and colleagues call for more transparent conversations with women and “a slower, stepped or delayed approach to diagnosis” to avoid unnecessary and potentially harmful disease labelling.

This is just one of several articles on the potential risks and harms of overdiagnosis being published this week to mark the 2017 Preventing Overdiagnosis conference - and is part of the BMJ’s Too Much Medicine campaign to help tackle the threat to health and the waste of money caused by unnecessary care.

A second article illustrates how how testing can fuel overdiagnosis. Dr Virginia Moyer, Vice President of the American Board of Pediatrics, and colleagues argue that a routine test to measure oxygen levels (known as pulse oximetry) is overused in infants and young children with the common respiratory infection bronchiolitis, without improving clinical outcomes.

This year’s conference, hosted by the Quebec Medical Association, will focus on moving towards responsible global solutions and working towards better patient partnerships.

[Ends]

Analysis: Are expanding disease definitions unnecessarily labelling women with polycystic ovary syndrome? 

Analysis: When technology creates uncertainty: pulse oximetry and overdiagnosis of hypoxemia in bronchiolitis

Journal: The BMJ

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