Do peple who get regular medical checks outlive the rest of us?

Is there statistical data on this question?

Do people who get regular checkups, all the recommended vaccines and screenings at all the recommended ages, and consult with their doctors if they notice any small changes – do they live longer lives than someone like me?

The best way to describe me is that I see a doctor when I have a medical problem I am unable to ignore anymore – when it is or is nearly disabling. But I do have access to good medical care if I need it.

Latest evidence-based research indicates that regular check-ups for basically healthy people may lead to greater patient satisfaction but there’s no evidence it leads to reduced morbidity or mortality.

Of course, regular follow-ups for folks with certain chronic diseases (asthma, hypertension, cardiac disease, and diabetes, to name a few) does improve outcomes.

I just presented the above tid-bit of info at a staff meeting today.

So, Doc, why is it conventional wisdom that we have annual checkups? Is that based on outdated research, or on no research at all (which seems to be what supports conventional wisdom), or on the AMA lobbying for business?

Some preliminary evidence combined with hopeful thinking indicated it was a way to good health, and voila.

But it’s been going out of vogue now in respectable medical circles for quite some time. I certainly don’t have any knowledge of the AMA promoting such things in the recent past. Do you?

Surely there must be a correlation even if there is not causation. People who get regular checkups would also be more likely to exercise, eat better and avoid smoking and doing drugs. This alone should make them healthier right?

That’s a good theory. But thus far there is no good evidence proving or disproving it.

Speak of the Devil - this review on the topic was published just over a month ago. The entire article is free (although not always readable :wink: )

It sounds to me from your first post it would be more accurate to say the evidence suggests otherwise. Or is that going too far?

From the cited study:

Yes, but those are targeted specific exams/procedures for at risk populations, and patients can come in just for them, and not a full preventive health exam.

A fuller summary from the linked study reads as follows: (bolding and underlining is mine)

Kinda squishy conclusion, frankly. “could provide clinicians with confidence”? "May confer similar benefits"? I think the final phrase, use individual judgement (of the clinician) is probably the best summary.

BTW, the study was done by folks at my alma mater! :smiley: