Are health screenings a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

Recently, parishioners and others have been undergoing health screenings at churches and community centers with the help of Life Line Screening, a for-profit company that partners with local hospitals and surgical centers. The company has checked more than 8 million Americans for stroke, heart, disease, and osteoporosis, according to an article published Oct. 28 by NPR.

Priced at less than $200, Life Line’s series of six health screenings is aimed at alerting people to otherwise unknown potential health risks. The company claims to have found abnormalities in about 10 percent of those who have been screened.

Problematically, several of the tests performed by Life Line are on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s list for healthy people to avoid. Though these screenings are usually noninvasive, the aftermath is often less innocuous: abnormalities are often dealt with by overdiagnosis and overtreatment. In actuality, they would almost never develop into any sort of serious threat to a patient’s health.

To read more about Life Line’s health screenings, click here.