Mayo Clinic Proceedings

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: An Evidence-Based Approach

to Treatment With a Focus on Anticholinergic Bronchodilation


Management of Syncope in Adults: An Update


The Task Force Finds Several Methods Equally Effective For Colorectal Cancer Screening

The Task Force now recommends that adults age 50 to 75 be screened for colorectal cancer using annual high-sensitivity fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy every five years with fecal occult testing between sigmoidoscopic exams, or colonocopy every 10 years.  According to the Task Force, good evidence exists that using these methods saves lives.  The Task Force recommended against routine colorectal cancer screening in adults between the ages of 76 and 85 because the benefits of regular screening were small compared with the risks.  The Task Force also recommended that adults over the age of 85 not be screened at all because the harms of screening may be significant, and other conditions may be more likely to affect their health or well-being.  The recommendations and accompanying summary of evidence were posted in the Annals of Internal Medicine online at and will appear in the November 4 print edition of the journal. 

New recommendations on behavioral counseling to prevent sexually transmitted infections

The Task Force recommends high-intensity behavioral counseling to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for all sexually active adolescents and for adults at increased risk for STIs.  The Task Force also concluded that evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of behavioral counseling to prevent STIs in non-sexually active adolescents and in adults not at increased risk for STIs.  Despite advances in screening, diagnosis and treatment of STIs, they remain an important cause of death in the U.S.  An estimated 19 million new STIs occur in the United States, almost half among people from 15 to 24 years of age.  Common sexually transmitted infections include chlamydia, hepatitis B, hepatitis, C, herpes, HIV and syphilis.  Direct medical costs are estimated at $15 billion annually.  The recommendation appeared in the October 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine

The Task Force is the leading independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care.  The Task Force, which is supported by AHRQ, conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling and preventive medications.  Its recommendations are considered the gold standard for clinical preventive services.  More information about these recommendations are available on the AHRQ Web site at