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Medical Tests Lead To Too Much Exposure To Radiation

file photo (credit: MIGUEL ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

file photo (credit: MIGUEL ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - We are a nation that likes our medical tests. Patients demand them and hospital emergency rooms are more than happy to provide them. But there is a big problem that can occur – too much exposure to radiation.

A study of 952,000 non-elderly adults found that over two-thirds were exposed to twice as much radiation as they would have received from natural sources because of medical imaging.

Women and older individuals were at greater risk for radiation exposure.

The study found that CT scans and nuclear tests accounted for three-quarters of non-treatment-based medical radiation exposure.

We need to take a careful look at how much is too much and do all we can to look into ways to provide tests when they are necessary but avoid the ones that are not needed.