Are general health checks important?
Many people do not think it is important to go for regular health checks and only visit the hospital when they fall ill or when they need a pre-employment health check or something of that sort.
On the contrary, we take the cars we drive to the mechanic shop regularly for general checks even when the car has no issues; oil is changed regularly, tyres are checked, car engines are also checked.
Using the same analogy, shouldn’t we accord our body which basically acts as a vehicle for us to fulfil all our goals, the same privilege?
Why you should have regular health checks
- To check for any present medical conditions which may or may not be symptomatic
- To assess your risk for future health issues
- To prompt you to inculcate a healthy lifestyle
- To update your vaccinations
How frequently should you have a general health check?
On a general note, if you live a healthy lifestyle and have no risk factor for chronic illnesses, you may need occasional checks based on your age:
19 – 40 years: at least once every 2 – 3 years
40 – 60 years: once every 1 – 2 years
60 years and above: once a year
If you smoke or have a risk factor for chronic illnesses such as a family history of diabetes, hypertension or cancers, you may need more frequent checks than that.
You should also endeavour to have your blood pressure checked at least yearly.
In addition, for women
Aged 18 – 29
- Ensure you have a complete HPV vaccination
Aged 30 – 49
- Get a Pap smear every 5 years
- Get a mammogram every 1 – 2 years
50 years and older
- Pap smear every 5 years until age 65 – 70
- Yearly mammogram until age 70
Note that this is just a guideline and individual health needs may differ. Refer to your doctor for a more specific health checks schedule.
Pay close attention to your health at all times