A new study indicates unnecessary colonoscopies are being performed on older adults, something that could put seniors at risk for side effects and send Medicare costs up to 500 million dollars a year.
Screening guidelines recommend against colonoscopies after the age of 75 because the disease progresses so slowly in seniors and the procedure can cause intestinal tears and bleeding.
However, the study published in JAMA- internal medicine, found almost 25-percent of colon screenings among Medicare patients were done in patients older than 75 years old.
Again, researchers stress that in patients over 75 the risks associated with colonoscopies are greater than any potential benefit.
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