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Archive for the ‘Life Line Screening News’ Category

Life Line Screening Criticism: A Response from Our C.M.O

May 20, 2013

A recent story written by Kaiser Health News which appeared in the Washington Post (Hospitals promote screenings that experts say many people do not need, May 14) focused on the community screening industry, including Life Line Screening. While our perspective was somewhat represented in the story and it included quotes from both Life Line Screening and one of our hospital partners, it also included the viewpoints of a number of our critics, and in the process misrepresented key facts about our preventive health screenings.

We hope you will read the following statement to gain a better understanding of the value of Life Line Screening’s services – and recognize that many who are quick to criticize commercial screenings may not be considering all the facts. You can also read what our many satisfied customers have to say on our Testimonials page – real stories from real patients and the value screenings had for them.

 

Preventing Screenings Misconceptions

As a clinical vascular surgeon for 30 years, I have seen many terrible health outcomes, including strokes and ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA), which could have been easily prevented had the patient only known of their presence. So much death and terrible disability could be avoided by identification of previously unknown disease and successful preventive measures.

In order to prevent readers from developing misconceptions about Life Line Screening and the services we provide, I would like to address several of the key points raised by our critics in the recent Kaiser Health News/Washington Post story:

 

Why screenings are necessary

Critics in the story assert that Life Line Screening conducts unnecessary testing, with a particular negative focus on vascular screening. The reality is that many people are at risk for diseases such as stroke and heart disease but experience no symptoms until it is too late.

Vascular disease currently represents the top cause of preventable death in the United States. U.S. patients suffer over 800,000 strokes per year – 80% without warning, and the risk of stroke doubles every decade after age 55 (1). Carotid artery disease, a leading immediate cause of strokes (2), can be easily discovered by an ultrasound quick scan while asymptomatic, and with effective management, strokes can be prevented.

Some critics in the article contend that the incidence of disease found from screenings is too low to make them worthwhile. According to our database of over 8 million screenings, approximately 8% of our patients are revealed to have a serious to moderate incidence of disease. We think the chance to alert these patients they are at risk and give them the ability to work with their physician to better manage their health and take action when medical intervention or lifestyle changes can still make a difference, is certainly “worthwhile.”

 

Who we screen

The story implies all screening companies are the same and will screen the general market indiscriminate of whether it makes sense for the consumer. This is not accurate, as there are many companies who screen based upon recognized appropriate risk factors. This is exactly the case for Life Line Screening. 93% of our patients have one or more risk factors (the same criteria used by many respected hospitals) and the average age of our patients is 62. That’s far from the characterization of broadly screening the general market, and in contrast, supports that our screenings offer a valued healthcare service for today’s seniors – many of whom face significant access to care challenges and need options outside the traditional system.

 

What USPSTF is, and what it isn’t

The author and others in the story rely heavily on the guidelines of the U.S. Preventive Task Force. However, this organization’s chief role is to provide recommendations to federal programs like Medicare on what services should be paid for with tax-payer dollars – not evaluate new healthcare services for consumers. They do not examine community-based screening for the purposes of early identification and treatment with lifestyle coaching and medical management, which is what Life Line Screening does.

The guidelines referenced are also seven years old and are currently undergoing review, which will necessarily include new evidence in the literature not available at the time of their initial recommendation. For example, under the current limited guidelines for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screenings, 50% of AAAs will be missed (3).

These facts help to explain why their recommendations, particularly around carotid artery screenings have generated widespread controversy and criticism from well respected experts calling for it to be reexamined – at the very least making it clear that relying solely on this recommendation as a rationale for dismissing these screenings is a mistake.

Hopefully this information and data help clarify some of the information presented in this recent story. If you have any further questions about Life Line Screening and the services we provide, feel free to reach out to Joelle Reizes, our Global Communications Director, at JReizes@llsa.com.

Sincerely,
Andrew J. Manganaro, MD


Diplomate, American Board of Surgery
Diplomate, American Board of Thoracic Surgery
Member, International Society for Endovascular Surgery
Fellow, American College of Cardiology
Member, Society for Vascular Medicine
Member, Society for Vascular Surgery
Fellow, American College of Surgeons
Member, Society for Vascular Ultrasonography
Fellow, International College of Surgeons
Fellow, International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery


References:

(1) NIDDS: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/stroke/stroke_needtoknow.htm
(2) The NIH Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy vs Stenting Trial (CREST) Fact Sheet, found at: http://stroke.nih.gov/programs/crest-fact-sheet.htm
(3) Kent CK, Zwolak RM, Egorova NN, et al. Analysis of risk factors for abdominal aortic aneurysms in a cohort of more than 3 million individuals. J Vasc Surg 2010; 52: 539-48.




The Growing Threat of Diabetes Around the World: Screen For Life

May 15, 2013

One similarity that people in every nation across the world share is health concerns. The same health conditions that threaten our health also threaten the health of people thousands of miles away, from Europe, to Asia, even to Australia.

Diabetes is an ongoing threat to the well-being of people all around the globe. Not only is type 2 diabetes a serious disease that can forever alter someone’s life, it’s also a major risk factor for other conditions like stroke, kidney failure and heart disease.

Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which the body can’t properly produce enough insulin, the hormone that converts food into energy. People with diabetes can live with it for years without even realizing they have it. In fact, many people don’t learn they have the condition until it leads to something detrimental, like stroke.

Every day, about 280 Australians develop diabetes. Unbeknownst to many, diabetes is Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease, and just like our U.S. branch of Life Line Screening, the Australian Screen For Life is committed to lowering this statistic. How? By offering glucose/type 2 diabetes screenings that can identify the condition before it worsens.

It is recommended that people over the age of 45 should undergo a blood glucose test for type 2 diabetes. Adults with high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels should also be screened for the disease. Other risk factors that may prompt the need for screening include family history, being overweight, physical inactivity, and having high triglycerides.

Together with the preventive health screenings in the United States and the United Kingdom, Screen For Life strives to promote lifelong health and well-being by identifying either risk of type 2 diabetes or valuable peace of mind. It doesn’t matter where you live – your health deserves to be taken care of. Do it for yourself, your family, and your friends.

Learn more about the health screening services in Australia provided by Screen For Life to decide if scheduling a health screening is right for you today.

 




Preventive Health Screenings Across the World: Screen For Life

April 25, 2013

Just like in the United States, cardiovascular disease is the most costly disease in Australia. The ailment costs more Australian lives and healthcare spending than any other disease. In fact, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare declares that heart disease causes the second-highest amount of disability and premature death behind only cancer.

These startling statistics hit close to home among Americans because heart disease is also the number one killer in the United States. While Americans can turn to Life Line Screening for a proactive approach to identifying heart disease risk, Australians can turn to Screen For Life.

Screen For Life is the Australian branch of the Life Line Screening family. Similar to Life Line Screening, the Australian screening company provides health testing for potentially dangerous health conditions, including:

  • Stroke/carotid artery disease
  • Stroke/atrial fibrillation
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes

High cholesterol is one major risk factor of heart disease, and approximately 1.3 million Australians are currently living with high cholesterol levels. While much of the blame for high cholesterol can be placed on the foods we eat, it is important to identify high cholesterol levels and work proactively to lower them through healthy lifestyles or medication recommendations from a physician. This can help decrease risk of developing heart disease or experiencing a life-threatening heart attack.

Together with the preventive health screenings in the United States and the United Kingdom, Screen For Life strives to promote lifelong health and well-being by identifying either risk of disease or valuable peace of mind. Taking charge of your own health is possible wherever you live, whether it’s here in the U.S. or halfway across the world in Australia.

Learn more about the health screening services in Australia provided by Screen For Life to decide if scheduling a health screening is right for you today.




Research Findings Call for a Proactive Approach to Healthcare

March 6, 2013

As we get older, being healthy takes effort. Preventing disease typically doesn’t just happen on its own. Life Line Screening proudly takes a proactive stance on health and well-being every day. As a firm believer in the power of prevention, we know that the state of our health is in our own hands. In a recent blog post from our Life Line Screening UK team, study results reveal just how crucial a proactive approach to health is in today’s society.

Published in the Lancet, the study included data from the years 1990 to 2010 that analyzed the health landscape of 19 countries, including the U.S., the UK, Australia, Canada, Norway and more. The study found that the UK’s premature death rate for men and women is relatively high compared to other countries. The reason was linked to growing cases of preventable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and lung disease.

Risk factors like smoking, high blood pressure, high body mass index (BMI), poor diets and lack of physical activity are associated with an increased risk of developing these preventable conditions. Similarly, the U.S. deals with these risk factors and preventable diseases, as heart disease remains the number one killer of Americans.

 

An Emphasis on Healthy Lifestyles

The findings of the study call for an increased emphasis on the importance of a proactive approach to healthcare. By implementing healthier lifestyles, the risk factors mentioned above can be lowered and risk of unnecessary, premature death from conditions like heart attack or stroke can be decreased.

Lifelong health is increasingly important across the world. To take control of your own health, you must be willing to change your lifestyle in healthy ways. Considering a preventive health screening is another method that can empower you with knowledge about the state of your health. Whether it’s alerting you to serious risk of disease, or simply providing you with peace of mind, health screening tests have the power to help you take the first step towards proactive healthcare.

To take charge of your life today, learn more about healthy living and lifelong health, or explore more information on the preventive health screenings of Life Line Screening.

What are your thoughts on a proactive approach to healthcare? What are you doing to ensure you’re in control of your health? Share with us in the comments.




VIDEO: What You Should Know about Life Line Screening

February 21, 2013

Whether Life Line Screening is identifying serious risk of disease or providing peace of mind, the ultimate goal is your well-being. These screenings are available at an affordable cost, use the highest-quality equipment and are designed to help people take a proactive approach to their health.

Life Line Screening screens for a variety of serious health conditions including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, atrial fibrillation, peripheral arterial disease, carotid artery disease and more. Because many of these conditions are asymptomatic in the early stages, they often go unnoticed until it’s too late.

Discover all of the capabilities of Life Line Screening by viewing the video below. In it, you’ll meet the Chief Medical Officer and learn about the facts of the screening services of the company. See for yourself what sets Life Line Screening apart from any other screening company.

Visit Life Line Screening’s YouTube channel to learn more about it’s preventive health screenings or advice on healthy lifestyles. For those without video capability, the text is provided below.

Life Line Screening: Who We Are

Here is the audio text to the video:

“I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; those words have never been more true than today. Our noninvasive, state-of-the-art screenings make it easy to take charge of your own health and the health of your loved ones.

And that’s why you’re here. Everyone knows someone who’s had a heart attack or a stroke, maybe someone very close to you, and we also know that preventive medicine is the best medicine, that early identification of a disease is the key to avoiding life-altering, even life-threatening problems later on.

Hi, I’m Joelle Reizes, Communications Director at Life Line Screening.

Life Line Screening is the nation’s leading provider of preventive health screenings. Since 1993, no one, including clinics and hospitals, has screened more people than we have.

Life Line Screening works in conjunction with many world-renowned healthcare institutions, and employs highly-trained technicians and board-certified doctors. Our equipment is exceptionally high-quality as well. We’re also rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau. Here to tell you more is our Chief Medical Officer.

I’ve been a vascular surgeon for more than 30 years, and nothing frustrates me more than seeing a patient who’s suffered a stroke or ruptured aneurysm which, if we had found it early, could have been prevented. That’s the reason for screening; it’s as simple as that.

We’d like to share a few important things about our company, and the technologists that you have entrusted with your screenings today. We’ve been doing screenings longer than anyone else, and are the only international provider, with screenings here in America and also in the United Kingdom and Australia. We screen about a million people a year, all with one thing in common: they’re advocates for their own health and wellness.

We have some of the most sophisticated screening equipment in the industry. Our ultrasound machines were designed to be used by the military on the battlefield. They’re state-of-the-art and continually calibrated to ensure accuracy and confidence. Most importantly, the technologists who are conducting your screenings are exceptionally trained and very experienced. In fact, the average Life Line Screening technologist has screened over 40,000 people, so you can trust them to be experts in what they do, and to provide your screenings in a comfortable and caring manner.

The goal here, and the goal of most any physician, is going to be to find out what’s wrong with you before something happens that could really have a bad effect and sometimes debilitating effect.

For more information about Life Line Screening or to schedule an appointment, visit www.lifelinescreening.com today.”




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