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Study calls heart imaging into question for mild chest pain

March 14, 2015

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A big federal study finds that people who see a doctor for chest pain have no less risk of suffering a heart attack, dying or being hospitalized later if they are checked with a fancy newer type of CT scan rather than a simple treadmill test or other older exam.

CT scans, a type of X-ray that gives a very detailed look at heart arteries, have been used for about a decade without evidence they are better or worse than older tests.

The study found them equally effective but also raised concern about how much medical radiation patients are getting. Few doctors in the study chose tests that did not require radiation.

The study was discussed Saturday at an American College of Cardiology conference in San Diego.