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Task Force Issues Draft Recommendation Statement on Screening for Carotid Artery Stenosis

Screening is unnecessary in general adult population (February 18)

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has posted its draft recommendation statement and draft evidence report on screening adults for carotid artery stenosis (CAS), recommending against screening in the general adult population.

CAS is one of many risk factors for stroke, which is a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S.

After reviewing the evidence, the task force has issued a draft recommendation against screening for CAS in the general adult population. Adults with a history of stroke, transient ischemic attack (“mini-stroke”), or signs and symptoms of stroke are not included in this recommendation.

“CAS is uncommon in the general adult population, so screening everyone would lead to many false positive results, and this can lead to follow-up tests and surgery that carry risk of serious harms, including stroke, heart attack, and death,” said task force member Jessica Herzstein, MD, MPH.

Task force co-vice chair Michael LeFevre, MD, MSPH, added: “The good news is that we have ways to reduce the risk of a stroke: control blood pressure and cholesterol, don’t smoke, be physically active, and eat a healthful diet.”

Source: USPSTF; February 18, 2014.

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