Americans are exposed to seven times more radiation from diagnostic scans than they were in 1980. Experts are saying that doctors are overusing the tests for profit and raising health risks for patients.
The findings add to already mounting evidence that doctors are ordering too many diagnostic tests, driving up the cost of health care in the United States and potentially harming patients.
Diagnostic scans can give doctors valuable information, but some doctors fear too much radiation exposure may cause cancer, especially in younger people.
However, imaging technology has created a financial incentive for some doctors to cash in -- by referring patients to get imaging tests on equipment in their own practices.