When Do I Need A Wellness Check-Up?

Most people know about the annual exam. As the name implies, these wellness check-ups should happen once a year. If someone has chronic health conditions or health risks, how often should wellness check-ups happen? Here’s what to know about health check-ups based on underlying conditions and health risks.

center for family medicine How Often Do I Need A Health Check-Up Underlying Conditions _ Health Risks (1)

What’s a chronic condition?

Even though everyone should aim to see the doctor once a year, many people fail to go this often. Going at least once a year is especially important for people with chronic health conditions. Chronic health conditions include any ongoing diagnoses that the doctor needs to keep an eye on. Conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) all could warrant more frequent visits to the doctor.

How do I know my health risks?

Knowing personal health risks is crucial for health management. How does a person find out about personal health risks? Health risks include factors from both personal health history and family health history. For example, a woman whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age may have a higher risk of breast cancer. Someone who had a severe infection as a child may have unique risks of repeat infections. A healthcare provider asks patients to fill out health risk questionnaires to determine what health conditions to look out for as a person ages.

Speaking of aging

While many young people skip the annual exam with seemingly few consequences, health risks increase as people get older. With each passing birthday, the annual exam gets more and more important. In large part this is because many chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, don’t show many symptoms in early stages. But when healthcare providers catch these issues early, the conditions are easier to treat and manage. Regular screenings are a crucial part of optimal health, whether a person feels well or not.

What are the benefits of going regularly?

Regular health check-ups have multiple benefits. These visits not only keep people in top physical shape. These appointments can also add up to big cost savings. Regularly monitoring health conditions helps to prevent more extensive health visits, such as surgeries or hospital visits. And seeing a primary care provider once a year helps to build a relationship with a trusted health partner.

So how often is ideal?

For most people, once a year is ideal for a wellness check. If someone has chronic conditions or health concerns, healthcare visits may occur more frequently. Additional healthcare visits may come in the form of specialist visits, testing, or screenings. For more questions about health check-ups, speak with a healthcare provider.