This is a sentiment that's uttered by thousands, if not millions, of people each year. But the argument that you might feel perfectly healthy loses steam in the face of hidden killers such as hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and colon cancer. Still, according to a recent University of Pittsburg study, only 44.4 million adults, or about one-fifth of the U.S. population, receive yearly preventive health exam.
How often do you need a physical? Most experts would say that as you get older, you should have annual check ups. But here are some guidelines set out by the Massachusetts Health Quality Partners:
- Ages 18-21: annually
- Ages 21-29: every 1-3 years
- Ages 30-39: every 1-3 years, depending on risk factors
- Ages 40-49: every 1-3 years, depending on risk factors
- Ages 50-64: annually
- Ages 65+: annually