In early September, Dartmouth hosted the first ever international conference on preventing overdiagnosis, notes NHPR’s Liz Faiella, who explains that The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (TDI) “has been at the forefront of research on unnecessary diagnosis and treatment.”
Dartmouth’s Lisa Schwartz, co-director of TDI’s Center for Medicine and Media, told the conference audience that “unfortunately, everything we do in medicine can both help and hurt,” NHPR reports. Schwartz and Steven Woloshin, co-director of TDI’s Center for Medicine and Media, are the authors of Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health. Woloshin also spoke at the conference.
Schwartz explained that there are two kinds of overdiagnosis, NHPR reports: The first is “medicalizing life,” or diagnosing ordinary experiences as disease; the other is the elevation of risk factors into something much more serious. “So low bone density becomes osteopenia, or borderline high blood sugar is prediabetes,” Schwartz said, according to NHPR.
Listen to the full story, broadcast 9/26/13 on NHPR.