Recently, the American Heart Association recommended EKGs for all kids taking ADHD medication. Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics has come out against this guideline. For those not in the know, this is huge for medicine. Two massive organizations ready to duke it out. For the younger crowd, let me translate this in a way you may understand better:
AHA: Uh, uh, girl. No, you didn’t!!!
AAP: Oh, yeaaahh, I did.
AHA: Well, you need to bring it!
AAP: Oh, it’s brought.
You can see that since more than half of the 4 million U.S. children diagnosed with attention-deficit disorders are being treated with stimulant drugs, the cost to get EKGs on all of them may be a little prohibitive. At a $100 a pop that would come out to $200,000,000. That is almost what the dude made at Cigna last year! Anyway, the AAP thought this advice by the AHA was “overzealous because these rare deaths are more common in the general population than among children on stimulants”. The Washington Post article even brought in Cleveland Clinic heartthrob Dr. Steven Nissen, who now is quoted in every article every published about the heart and has become the Britney Spears of medicine, who said the academy appears to be dismissing concerns that stimulants are used excessively in children with insufficient evidence about long-term risks.
I am but a simple family doctor so I am not smart enough to understand all this talk of medication, heart tracings, and screenings. I will say, though, that this battle of the giants is going to be awesome! Go get some popcorn, everyone, and let's get ready to rumble.