Study: Annual physicals 'overrated'

Researchers in Europe are challenging the conventional wisdom of the yearly doctor's checkup.

We all know an annual physical is good for you, right? After all, insurers routinely cover them, no questions asked. Researchers in Europe are now testing that conventional wisdom. They compiled a large number of previous studies to see whether having a physical prevented deaths. In fact, they found that check-ups do not reduce overall deaths or prevent serious diseases like cancer or heart disease.


About the author

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter.
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One thing I'm wondering, though: physicals tend to result in recommendations for the patient. For example, they may find high cholesterol so they suggest methods to control it early. They recommend exercise and other features.

So the question: is the matter of there being no benefit caused by the lack of follow through in the patient?

A couple of friends have had PSA tests and decided removing the prostate was a way to go even though cancer was not out of control or advanced, or maybe even present. Surgery and recovery may have been worse than potential disease given their age.

That's an example of the profit-for-service system 's failing really. There's an incentive to give the most expensive care rather than the most effective. Few people get paid if the real solution is just 'eat less X and Y and go walk' so why offer it? surgery for cancer that's not even present? Really?

Right on Jeff! America no longer has "healthcare," it has a "for profit medical business" that profits from over treating "customers" - they are no longer "patients" - by building their fears of illness and faith in the "system."

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