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Evidence to Practice
Mar 11, 2013

General Health Checks in Adults for Reducing Morbidity and Mortality From DiseaseSummary Review of Primary Findings and Conclusions

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Ambulatory Care, Denver VA Medical Center, and Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver.

JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(5):371-372. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.3187

The concept of general health checkups to identify disease at a stage at which early intervention could be effective has been promoted for nearly 100 years.1 Both patients and primary care physicians are interested in such examinations, which can include detailed history taking, physical examination, extensive laboratory testing, and imaging.2,3 However, there has been little evidence to support the benefits of such checkups, and the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends a limited range of age-, sex-, and risk-specific examinations and tests.4 The goal of this review was to estimate the effect of health checkups on morbidity and mortality based on primary care–or community-based randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with long-term follow-up in adults.

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