USPSTF Releases Updated CVD Screening Recommendations

June 13, 2018

The USPSTF has recommended against the use of electrocardiography (ECG) with or without exercise for screening for cardiovascular disease (CVD) events in asymptomatic, low-risk adults, a grade D recommendation.

This recommendation reaffirms the Task Force’s 2012 recommendations.


Current CVD Guidelines Overestimate Risk

AHA/ACOG Issue CVD Screening Advisory

In their update, the group reviewed all available evidence on whether the addition of screening with resting or exercise ECG improved health outcomes compared with traditional CVD risk assessment in asymptomatic adults. Asymptomatic was defined as individuals with a 10-year CVD event risk less than 10%.

Overall, they found that for asymptomatic individuals at low risk, “it is very unlikely that the information from resting or exercise ECG…will result in a change in the patient’s risk category as assessed by the Framingham Risk Score or Pooled Cohort Equations that would lead to a change in treatment and ultimately improve health outcomes.”

For asymptomatic adults with intermediate or high risk, there was insufficient evidence to determine how ECG measurements added to current risk assessment models.

“The USPSTF recommends against screening with resting or exercise ECG to prevent CVD events in asymptomatic adults at low risk of CVD events. The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening with resting or exercise ECG to prevent CVD events in asymptomatic adults at intermediate or high risk of CVD events.”

—Michael Potts


USPSTF. screening for cardiovascular disease risk with electrocardiography: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2018;319(22):2308-2314.