Letters Preventing overdiagnosis

We can learn from disciplines outside medicine

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e4293 (Published 25 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e4293
  1. Louisa Polak, general practitioner and research student12
  1. 1North Hill Medical Group, Colchester CO1 1DZ, UK
  2. 2London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  1. louisa.polak{at}lshtm.ac.uk

Moynihan and colleagues have omitted three issues from their article on preventing overdiagnosis.1

Firstly, who decides where the balance of harms and benefits tips into overdiagnosis? For taxpayers, some screening and preventive treatments may be the most cost effective use of NHS resources. For patients, preference depends on the values they ascribe—for example, to reducing risk of fractures versus risk …

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