The idea to be screened for potential health problems is good by itself. It should prevent diseases and improve human health. In reality, it is a money making machine for testing companies and makes absolutely healthy people consumers of drugs for life.
Our bodies aren’t constant systems. Hormones, blood pressure, and other body parameters change even within a few hours. Our bodies are affected by the environment and our mental state as well. A test in the morning could show different result from a test in the evening because of it. Tests also are made using average human body parameters. Doctors often don’t even take this into account and prescribe medications even when parameters are just a bit abnormal. They don’t consider that could be due to something ordinary like food or mental state. Home testing also is quite popular but unreliable since people rarely follow the exact instructions and also because home-tests are simply poorly made. Getting popularity genetic tests often bring nothing in helping understand people’s health since we know just a bit of the whole human genome story.
One of the major issues with testing is that tests aren’t stringently monitored and standardized. COVID-19 is a clear example for it. Tests are run in different conditions and cycles which affect the results. PCR test run in 29 cycles may be negative, but at 45 positive. Laboratories don’t publish the cycles but yet health authorities compare and use the results which aren’t comparable. This with the mass testing of healthy people led to the fake pandemic. Dr Drosten, the author of the compromised but still used COVID-19 PCR test made similar statement 2014 before knowing that it will bring him so much money.
Yes, but the PCR method is so sensitive that it can detect a single genetic molecule of this virus. If, for example, such a pathogen flits over the nasal mucous membrane of a nurse for a day without becoming ill or noticing anything, then it is suddenly a Mers case. Where previously terminally ill were reported, now suddenly mild cases and people who are actually very healthy are included in the reporting statistics. This could also explain the explosion in the number of cases in Saudi Arabia. In addition, the local media boiled the matter up incredibly high. https://www-wiwo-de.translate.goog/technologie/forschung/virologe-drosten-im-gespraech-2014-die-who-kann-nur-empfehlungen-aussprechen/9903228-2.html?_x_tr_sl=de&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en-US
While COVID-19 tests are an obvious overuse of testing, it didn’t start in 2020.
Screening asymptomatic patients for prediabetes is an example for it. Studies have shown that A1C and glucose screening tests are inaccurate, leading to high levels of false-positives and false-negatives. The situation is the same with patients who are already diagnosed with diabetes. The continuous glucose monitoring has not been shown to improve any of the aforementioned outcomes. Excessive testing can result in overtreatment with hypoglycemic drugs, adding additional cost and potential health complications. It leads to increased health care costs and patient anxiety without corresponding benefit (1,2).
An analysis of using of tests in primary care of 357 171 patients from 63 studies in 15 countries showed that overuse of test subjects patients to direct harms, such as radiation exposure, as well as potential adverse outcomes and over diagnosis. It is also waste of healthcare resources (3).
Now you know why overtesting is quite common. It is an easy money making machine, no need of much investment nor need to follow any standards. Creating more consumers on top of it. Health?! Who cares about health - it is all about money.
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Lidiya: Everything you say here about overtesting and the economic interests behind it is true. Still there may be a few (just very few) examples of chronic (emphasis on chronic) diseases for which it may be justified to screen asymptomatic people. Breast cancer and colon cancer come to mind. There are criteria to determine what diseases should be screened, which are too long to comment here. But for acute diseases, such as covid, it has never been considered appropriate to test asymptomatic persons. We have never tested asymptomatic people for influenza, or mono, or mycoplasma, or dengue, or any acute disease. It is just never done... not even in a world with economic incentives for overtesting. With covid, they have reinvented the way things are done in medicine.