Let’s Get Physical, Just Not Every Year

iStock/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) -- Not every adult sees their doctor for an annual physical exam. And believe it or not, they may be the smart ones.

Thomas Miller, chief medical officer for the University of Utah’s Hospitals and Clinics, says the notion that adults, especially when they get older, should have a wellness exam every year could result in people doing themselves more harm than good.

Under certain circumstances, such as people who neither have a long-term illnesses nor take regular prescription drugs, it’s been shown that annual physicals don’t lower the rate of disease-related deaths, hospitalizations or health care costs.

Rather than improve one’s health, these yearly tests might lead to unnecessary over-diagnosis and expensive over-treatment of some conditions.

So why go every year without fail? It's what doctors have recommended for the past seven decades.

Of course, there are some things Miller does recommend healthy patients get checked every year: blood pressure and cholesterol.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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