Nearly one-quarter of colonoscopies unnecessary, study says

Doctors perform a colonoscopy in this file image.

March 12, 2013 9:57:43 AM PDT
Nearly one-quarter of colonoscopies performed on older adults in the United States are unnecessary, according to a study at the University of Texas.

Researchers found some doctors did more than 40 percent of their colonoscopies on patients who were likely too old to benefit or those who had a recent negative test result and weren't due for another.

U.S. guidelines recommend colonoscopies every 10 years for people between age 50 and 75.

The study appears in JAMA Internal Medicine.