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Swiss Med Wkly. 2015 Jan 30;145:w14075. doi: 10.4414/smw.2015.14075. eCollection 2015.

Check-up examination: recommendations in adults.

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Division of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland.


Check-up examinations, or periodic health examinations (PHEs), have gained in importance during the last decades and are nowadays among the most common reasons for consultations in primary care settings. The aim of PHEs is to identify risk factors and early signs of disease, but also to prevent future illness by early intervention. Therefore, each PHE should include counselling, immunisation and physical examination according to the patient's age and gender. However, deciding whether to screen a patient and choosing the most appropriate screening method can be challenging for general practitioners. The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) provides updated recommendations on different existing preventive care measures based on relevant literature review. The aim of this review is to provide an updated statement of recommendations regarding preventive care measures based mostly on the guidelines derived from the USPSTF and the Swiss Medical Board. Among the major updates, there is no recommendation anymore to routinely screen for breast cancer and prostate cancer in asymptomatic adults. Since 2013, however, the USPSTF recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose CT in patients aged 55 to 80 years with a smoking history of ≥30 pack years. During PHEs, the physician should be alert to the patients' hidden agendas, which are the reason for one third of all consultations in primary care.

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