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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

If you have questions or suggestions about this content, please email the doctor at or leave him a message at 516-778-8864.  His website is:

Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Aug 2, 2019



The past two decades has seen a 4-fold rise in the number of pregnant American women undergoing CT scans.  The numbers of Canadian women being scanned during pregnancy has doubled over the same period. Even with modern image intensification, this radiation presents increased risks to an entire generation of children.


The study just published in JAMA Network Open reviewed some 3.5 million pregnancies in the US and Canada.  During the 21 year study period, 5.3% of American women and 3.6% of Canadian women underwent imaging with ionizing radiation.  Rates in the US have been trending down while those in Canada are rising.


Pregnant women should always question their doctors carefully about the absolute medical necessity for any x-rays or scans.  Invasive tests, like medications of any kind, should be avoided during pregnancy if at all possible.


Marilyn L. Kwan, Diana L. Miglioretti, Emily C. Marlow, E. J. Aiello Bowles, Sheila Weinmann, Stephanie Y. Cheng, Kamala A. Deosaransingh, Prachi Chavan, Lisa M. Moy, Wesley E. Bolch, James R. Duncan, Robert T. Greenlee, Lawrence H. Kushi, Jason D. Pole, Alanna K. Rahm, Natasha K. Stout, R. Smith-Bindman. Trends in Medical Imaging During Pregnancy in the United States and Ontario, Canada, 1996 to 2016. JAMA Network Open, 2019; 2 (7): e197249 DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.7249


#CT #xrays #pregnancy