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Regular check-ups do help prevent ill-health

Is a regular check-up good for your health? An overview of recent research suggests that it is.

In the first study to systematically review the evidence, Dr. L. Ebony Boulware from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and associates analysed 50 articles to investigate the benefits and harms of the 'periodic health evaluation' with regard to both patient outcomes and costs.

Several studies indicated that having a periodic health evaluation was associated having cholesterol checked, and being screened for colorectal cancer, but showed mixed effects on other preventive measures, the team reports in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Other studies they looked at showed that a periodic health exam had a slight effect on cholesterol levels, a moderate effect on health habits, patient attitudes, health status, and body mass index, and strong effects on blood pressure, the report indicates.

Five studies revealed the periodic health evaluation to have mixed effects on all economic and clinical outcomes, the researchers say.

'We think this provides evidence that the continued practice of performing periodic health evaluations is justified,' Boulware told Reuters.

Page created on March 5th, 2007

Page updated on December 1st, 2009