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Monday, June 30, 2008

Diagnosis: Annual Checkups Overrated by Judith Graham FROM ThirdAge

Your doctor probably knows it. Medical organizations certainly do. But most patients have no idea.

The annual physical examination -- that encounter when a physician looks in your throat, listens to your heart, pokes your abdomen, checks your reflexes and tests your blood -- is no longer a generally recommended medical practice.

That's because there is scant scientific evidence showing that yearly checkups help prevent disease, death or disability for adults with no symptoms. Many tests and procedures performed during the visits have questionable value, experts say.

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