Too much of a good thing

Published: February, 2008

Dartmouth researchers find that patterns of medical care vary widely — and that more services don't mean better outcomes.

An article in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 about the cancer risk associated with the radiation from CT scans got a good deal of attention. In the measured, passive voice so often used in medical journal articles ("...there is a strong case to be made..."), the team of authors from Columbia University Medical Center suggested that many of the potentially cancer-causing scans are probably unnecessary and done for the wrong reasons — out of fear of lawsuits and inadvertent duplication.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise

New subscriptions to Harvard Health Online are temporarily unavailable. Click the button below to learn about our other subscription offers.

Learn More »