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Response to Brodersen et al’ s ‘Overdiagnosis: what it is and what it isnt
  1. Wendy A Rogers1,2,
  2. Yishai Mintzker3
  1. 1 Department of Clinical Medicine, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2 Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3 Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
  1. Correspondence to Professor Wendy A Rogers, Department of Clinical Medicine, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia;{at}

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Brodersen et al’s recent editorial1 presents two types of overdiagnosis, but fails to acknowledge prior scholarship on this topic. We independently described these two types at the 2014 Preventing Overdiagnosis conference, followed by joint publication in 2016.2 The first type of overdiagnosis relates to the detection of harmless instances of the disease, secondary to the uptake of new diagnostic technologies and disease-finding practices such as cancer screening. We called this ‘maldetection overdiagnosis’ (‘overdetection’ in Brodersen et al). The second form of overdiagnosis follows changes in the definitions of diseases or …

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  • Contributors WAR and YM discussed the content prior to drafting. WAR wrote the first draft. YM provided feedback and approved the final version.

  • Competing interests WAR is funded by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (ID FT130100346).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.