Population-based study of echocardiography. Time trends in utilization and diagnostic profile of an evolving technology, 1975-1987

D. J. Ballard, B. K. Khandheria, A. Jamil Tajik, J. B. Seward, V. P. Weber, L. J. Melton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


We evaluated trends in the use of echocardiography among residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, from January 1, 1975, through June 30, 1987. Annual examinations per 100,000 population among Olmsted County residents increased 6-fold from 264 in 1975 to 1,644 in 1986. Given the pattern of echo use in Olmsted County, these population-based data project a potential annual utilization of 4 million echo exams in the United States. Marked increases over time in labeling of patients with regurgitant valvular heart disease were noted following the introduction of Doppler echocardiography. The diagnostic labeling associated with this evolving technology and the resultant apparent epidemic of valvular regurgitation present a significant clinical technology assessment dilemma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-261
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Informatics
  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Information Management

Cite this