Preventing Overdiagnosis Conference

Preventing Overdiagnosis Conference
Sept. 10-12, 2013, at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, Hanover, N.H., USA, in partnership with BMJ, Consumer Reports and Bond University.

Overdiagnosis happens when people get a diagnosis they don’t need. It can happen when people without symptoms are diagnosed and then treated for a disease that won’t actually cause them any symptoms, and it can happen for people whose symptoms or life experiences are given a diagnostic label which will bring them more harm than good.

Although hard to believe, there’s growing scientific evidence suggesting many people are being overdiagnosed across a lot of different conditions, from asthma to breast cancer, from high blood pressure to low bone density. Fierce debates are raging in many specialist areas, from psychiatry to kidney medicine, over whether the boundaries defining illness have been pushed too wide and whether too many people are being turned into patients unnecessarily.

To learn more about the nature and extent of the problem and how to prevent it, an international scientific conference called Preventing Overdiagnosis will take place on 10-12 September 2013 in the United States, hosted by The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, in partnership with one of the world’s most respected medical journals, the BMJ, the leading New-York based consumer organisation Consumer Reports, and Bond University.

Overly aggressive treatment is estimated to cause 30 000 deaths among Medicare recipients alone each year. Overall, unnecessary interventions are estimated to account for 10-30% of spending on healthcare in the US, or $250bn-800bn (£154bn-490bn; €190bn-610bn) annually.

This video features Shannon Brownlee, acting director of the New America Health Policy Program and Instructor at Dartmouth Institute.

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