Every week seems to bring important news about overdiagnosis, either in terms of medical guidelines, scientific papers, investigative revelations, or whistleblower disclosure. The big news this week (so far!) has to do with the “management” of “mild” hypertension, as Jeanne Lenzer reports in Slate. Her discussion of “disease creep” is exactly the kind of topic we want to zero in on in Selling Sickness next year.
Disease creep is a disease of the news media, of the doctor’s office, and of the mind, as we ask ourselves if a new sensation is a symptom, if a change warrants a medical test, or if the condition we saw on TV this morning might pertain to Sister Sally or Little Ned. How to resist the creep is a challenge for us all.