Prevention: Are regular health check-ups worthwhile?
Lots of people who want to stay healthy go for regular general health check-ups. But the benefits of these check-ups shouldn’t be overestimated. So far studies haven’t proven that regular general health check-ups can protect healthy people from illness or increase their life expectancy.
In Germany, all people who are over the age of 35 and have statutory health insurance are entitled to go for a regular health check-up once every three years. People between the ages of 18 and 35 years are elligible to have it once. The check-up includes:
- Medical history (anamnesis): You discuss your medical history with your doctor to determine whether any medical conditions run in your family or whether you have any other risk factors.
- Physical examination: The doctor will look at or listen to various parts of your body, or examine them by touch. This includes listening to your heart and lungs and testing your reflexes and flexibility.
- Blood test: A blood sample will be taken to measure your total and blood sugar levels.
- Rapid urine test: This test measures the levels of various substances that could be a sign of bacterial infections, kidney diseases or diabetes.
- Vaccination check: Your current status is checked.
- Health advice
Health check-ups are designed to detect any risk factors and illnesses as early as possible – before they start to cause problems. The aim of these tests is to prevent illnesses and their progression.