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Life Line Screening – Is It Worth It?

Written by Wellness Club on August 5, 2009 – 2:44 pm -

By Nurse Mark


We are bombarded with sales-pitches and come-on’s daily, with various health care or health insurance or health improvement schemes preying upon the fears and uncertainties of Americans – especially older Americans – with well-written and compelling advertising copy.

No wonder so many are confused. Fortunately there are also many like Jean who are skeptical.

Jean writes:

What do you think of the Life Line Screening?  We received a flyer through the Masons, but I read something on line that indicated it may be a scam.

Here is Nurse Mark’s answer:

Hi Jean,

Regarding “Life Line Screenings” – I was unaware that Masonic Lodges were promoting this, or any company’s services, and a little surprised.

I don’t think that it is actually a scam, but I’m not sure that it is all it’s promoted to be by the company. Their “screenings” look at a fairly small number of risk factors from a fairly narrow perspective. They do not offer their screenings as being diagnostic and they admit in several places on their website that these screenings are “limited” in nature. They do present their results in a rather “pretty” user-friendly (to the layperson) and colorful format however.

If your concern is with Carotid Artery Disease, which Life Line Screening claims to detect and stroke, the thing that Life Line Screening claims to  prevent, Dr. Myatt has an newly-revised article here: Herbs for Stroke / Thrombophlebitis Prevention that will be very useful to you.

For a fairly balanced look at the Life Line Screenings ultrasound service – written by a conventional doctor – check out this article:

Remember, as a conventional doc this fellow’s recommendation must be to lower both cholesterol and blood pressure in order to lower stroke risk – and as Dr. Myatt has written before, neither of those strategies is really beneficial to very many people other than the Big Pharmaceutical Companies.

Here is another article, from the magazine Nurseweek:

They also promote their ultrasound screenings for the detection of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, Peripheral Artery Disease, and for Bone Mineral Density Screening.

The company also offers fingerstick blood screening for a number of risk factors and limited ECG (electrocardiogram or heart rhythm monitor) testing in some of it’s locations.

These tests are all well and good, but often unnecessary in the absence of any clear indication such as known risk factors or symptoms – and then, such testing should be recommended and interpreted by your doctor to ensure that you are getting the most “bang for your buck”. Remember, you always have the option of asking your doctor if he or she feels a certain test might be indicated, and if not, why not. If your doctor is unwilling to spend the time to discuss your concerns, well, then it’s time to find a new doctor!

I personally see this service as fitting into the same category as those “head-to-toe” CAT scans that were promoted heavily a while back. My advice would be to pass on the Life Line Screening and save my money for the basic vitamins and supplements that have been well-proven to lower the risks of cardiovascular disease including strokes. Remember, it is easier and better to stay healthy than it is to play “catch-up” based upon the results of these “screening tests”.

Hope this helps.

Nurse Mark

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