Task Force's Prevention Advice Proves Hard to Swallow

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  21 Sep 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6101, pp. 1468-1470
DOI: 10.1126/science.337.6101.1468-a

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Created by the Department of Health and Human Services 3 decades ago, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force examines clinical data and decides whether methods of preventing disease—many of them already in use—are backed by evidence that they're worth using. Virginia Moyer became its chair in 2011. In 2009, she and the rest of the task force shed their relative anonymity when they addressed a question many had thought settled: Should healthy women in their 40s get an annual mammogram? The panel's explosive answer: No, because giving such advice would do more harm than good. Science recently spoke with Moyer about her role, her task force's recent fame, and its future.