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The Importance of Preventive Health Checks-ups and Screening

Updated: May 20

Importance of Preventive Health Check Ups
Importance of Preventive Health Check-Ups

Introduction: In the whirlwind of modern life, it is easy to overlook the importance of preventive health check-ups and screening, until health falters.

Despite the advances in medical science, the adage “prevention is better than cure” remains profoundly relevant. Let’s delve into the importance of preventive health checks and how they serve as invaluable tools in safeguarding our well-being.

Importance of preventive health check-ups: WHY?

The importance of preventive health check-ups is comparable to the importance of maintaining the good condition of our vehicles. Just as we wouldn't neglect regular check-ups for our vehicles, we shouldn’t neglect our health. These health checks can identify risk factors or warning signs or early signs of diseases, allowing for timely intervention and treatment.  Some of the key benefits are:

  1. Saves Lives: By addressing health concerns early, we can often prevent them from progressing into more serious and severe conditions that may require more intensive treatment or even become life-threatening. Moreover, preventive health checks promote a proactive approach to health, emphasizing the importance of lifestyle choices and behaviours that support overall well-being. They encourage individuals to take charge of their health and make informed decisions about their lifestyle, diet, exercise, and healthcare options.

  2. Makes Healthcare Cost-Effective: Contrary to common belief, investing in preventive health checks can result in substantial cost savings in the long run. By addressing health concerns early on, individuals can avoid the financial burden associated with extensive medical treatments, hospitalizations, and lost productivity due to illness. In essence, preventive care is not an expense but a wise investment in one's future well-being and the reduction in lost productive hours, earnings, and cost to the community.

  3. Empowers Individuals: Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to health. By undergoing regular health checks, individuals gain valuable insights into their current health status and potential areas for improvement. Armed with this information, they can take proactive steps to mitigate risks through lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, and adherence to medical advice. Ultimately, preventive health checks empower individuals to take control of their health destinies and lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.

  4. Promotes Public Health: Beyond individual benefits, preventive health checks play a crucial role in promoting public health on a broader scale. By identifying and addressing health risks at the population level, these screenings contribute to the prevention of epidemics, reduce healthcare disparities, and alleviate the burden on healthcare systems. Through concerted efforts to promote preventive care initiatives, societies can foster a culture of health and well-being for all. 

Let’s look at what screening tests/checks one should consider.

Though there are specific preventive health checks and screenings one can consider depending on various factors such as age, gender, family history, and individual risk factors/occupational risk factors, some common screenings recommended for adults include: 

  1. Blood pressure check – High blood pressure, or hypertension is a silent killer that increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. Regular blood pressure checks can help monitor your cardiovascular health and detect any abnormalities early on.

  2. Pulse rate check - If we see any abnormal increase or decrease in pulse rate, the patient can be subjected to further evaluation, and appropriate treatment can be suggested. For example, if one is having a very low pulse rate which we commonly do come across, a pacemaker may be installed to correct the same.

  3. Blood Oxygen level (SpO2) check: The measurement of blood oxygen levels in the capillaries is done with the help of a device known as a Pulse Oximeter. By looking at the SpO2 levels we get an idea about conditions such as Asthma, COPD, Severity of Pneumonia, etc. 

  4. Pallor – The degree of pallor is an indication of a number of health conditions starting from nutritional deficiency anaemia, or anaemia due to renal function impairment or malignancy. (Blood cancers, Bone marrow disorders, GI tumors etc.) 

  5. Check for Edema – Edema that can be detected with a simple check is a symptom of many conditions including Renal, Liver, Thyroid, or Cardiac dysfunction or failure 

  6. Check for Icterus – also known as Jaundice is a condition that turns the skin or the white part of the eye yellow.  This is due to excess bilirubin in the blood and is an indication of the presence of underlying diseases such as Hepatitis or issues with the functioning of the liver.

  7. Check for lymphadenopathy – Lymphadenopathy is the enlargement of lymph nodes and vital diagnosis can be made by the region/ group of lymph nodes involved, like infections, malignancies, auto-immune diseases, etc.

  8. Routine Blood Investigations:

  • Complete Blood count 

  • Fasting Blood Sugar 

  • HbA1C 

  • Liver function test 

  • Renal function test 

  • Lipid profile 

  • Thyroid profile 

9. Other tests done are: 

  • Urine routine 

  • Ultrasound Scan of Whole Abdomen 

  • Chest X-ray 

  • PFT-Spirometry 

  • Electrocardiogram 

These tests when done periodically give a comprehensive insight into the health of an individual. Any abnormality in these readings or an out-of-band trend can be cause for further investigation – and in most cases help detect any medical condition early. 

Conclusion: In the tapestry of health, preventive care is the thread that weaves together longevity, vitality, and well-being. By prioritizing regular health checks, individuals not only safeguard their own health but also contribute to the collective resilience of society. As we navigate the complexities of modern life, let us embrace the proactive approach of preventive health checks, for in doing so, we invest not only in our own future but in a healthier, happier world for generations to come.

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