Yearly physical may cause false sense of security

October 17, 2012

A massive review of medical data finds getting regular exams doesn't reduce the chances of dying from serious diseases like cancer and heart disease.

It has long been accepted that yearly physicals allow doctors to detect and treat serious problems early. But the review published by the Cochrane Collaboration finds that isn't the case for healthy adults.

The review also reveals more checkups lead to what's called "over diagnosis," identifying and treating conditions that might never have caused problems.

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