Studies show that having too many tests done too frequently is a recipe for getting sick, not staying healthy.
April 6, 2015 Why not check bloodwork a few times a year as some celebrities advise? Because too much testing can lead to false positives (and abnormalities that don't threaten health) and to unnecessary treatment.
December 23, 2014 Guidelines just out from the American Diabetes Association say Asian-Americans with a typically healthy body mass index can still be running a substantial risk for developing diabetes.
Magnified 25,000 times, this digitally colorized scanning electron micrograph shows Ebola virus particles (green) budding from an infected cell (blue).
October 28, 2014 A highly sensitive blood test for Ebola exists, so why isn't it being used to test all returning health workers from West Africa? Because the virus isn't in the blood in the first stages of infection.
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Sure, your doctor can do this. But you can, too. And for stroke patients, it could be a lifesaver.
July 24, 2014 Most people can't tell when they're having the irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation that puts them at risk of stroke. Simply learning to take your own pulse could help, researchers say.
Doctors used a rapid DNA test to identify a Wisconsin teen's unusual infection with Leptospira bacteria (yellow), which are common in the tropics.
June 5, 2014 Scientists used high-powered DNA sequencing to diagnose infections missed by usual lab tests. The pricey method is still experimental, but might offer a way to identify tough-to-diagnose infections.
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After genetic testing revealed a heightened risk for breast cancer, Angelina Jolie had a precautionary double mastectomy.
December 10, 2013 After Angelina Jolie announced she has a genetic variant that raises her risk of breast cancer, many women asked their doctors for the test. Insurers will pay for tests only if there's a clear indication that it would help shape medical care. That's often not the case.
Disease susceptibility varies among ethnic groups, but medicine hasn't always recognized that.
November 20, 2013 By a standard test most African-Americans have low levels of vitamin D. But most African-Americans also have strong bones. It turns out that the problem is with the test, which was looking for a form of D more common in Caucasians. The variation is a result of human evolution.
Stacy Riggs of Fairfax, Va., is prepped for a screening for atrial fibrillation by Life Line Screening medical assistant Kennea Blake at Messiah United Methodist Church in Springfield, Va.
Jenny Gold/Kaiser Health News
October 28, 2013 The medical screening tests offered by churches and other nonprofits may sound like a great idea. But some of the tests, which are performed by for-profit companies, are not recommended by national organizations because they can lead to invasive testing and unnecessary treatment.
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A broken hip like the one at left is a big health worry for older women.
September 25, 2013 Many older women get bone scans every two years to look for signs of osteoporosis. But for the vast majority of people, the repeat scans don't detect significant changes. New research suggests it may make sense to stop or slow down on the scans after people have had an initial test.
Anne Jones, 62, and Robin Jones, 73, at their home in Menlo Park, Calif. He took a test that revealed proteins typical of Alzheimer's disease.
Ramin Rahimian for NPR
July 8, 2013 There are tests for heart attacks and diabetes, but few for brain disorders. Researchers are trying to change that, but are finding the hunt for biomarkers for mental illness to be a tough slog. Tests on the market, like ones for Alzheimer's, are not conclusive.
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The skin test for tuberculosis sparks an itchy welt in people who have been exposed to the bacillus.
April 25, 2013 Problems at a Canadian factory have caused a shortage of tuberculosis tests in the U.S. Some hospitals and health departments around the country are deferring routing TB testing as a result.
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