Should You Get a Body Check? 'Change of Seasons' in Your Life Is a Good Rule-of-Thumb

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Healthy Matters

In a public health system, decisions on when to be screened for various diseases are made on a cost-effective, population-level. However, the public health system in Hong Kong offers a limited number of screening programs so it’s up to individuals to decide when, what to have tested and even whether they should get a body check. We’ve discussed the ‘what to have tested’ in our previous article, Body Checks at Every Age.


In this article, we’ll tackle when and whether you should have a body check.


When should I have a body check?

Ideally, you should have at least a basic body check every year after the age of 18 and a more comprehensive body check every few years. Getting an in-depth body check at the change of seasons in your life (getting married, having children, changing jobs, etc.) is a good rule-of-thumb. Why not start your next life chapter on the right, healthy foot?

Prevention is best

The scientific evidence is pretty abundant: a lot of diseases are easier to address in their early stages. Knowing where your baseline is on a number of bio-markers will help you address anything that comes up. Whether it’s slightly elevated blood pressure or early stage cancers, your long-term prognosis will be better the earlier you catch it.

Body checks under your insurance, employer, or credit card

Some insurance schemes, employers and credit cards either offer free or heavily-discounted body checks, yet very few people take advantage of them. The first thing to understand when considering getting a body check under such a program is your patient privacy. Unless you are referred to the clinic by another doctor, the results of your check belong to you and you alone. The clinic cannot legally release your results to anyone other than you. If you are referred to a clinic by another physician, the results will also go to her/him. This goes both for a body check and any genetic screening you have done.


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Genetic screening

Genetic screening is offered as an optional part of many body check packages. Most people know that genetic screening can tell you your predisposition to developing certain conditions. Not if you’ll get a condition, but what your risk is as compared to the general population. While not everyone wants this information, it can help you determine what areas of your health require certain focus – both lifestyle and regular medical checks.

Pre-pregnancy genetic screening

Either because they know they are carriers or just out of interest, some couples choose to have genetic screening prior to conceiving. If both you and your partner are carriers of a certain disease, your physician may recommend undergoing in-vitro fertilization in order to ensure that gene does not get carried into the next generation.

Genetic screening and personalized medicine

Genetic screening also plays a part in personalized medicine. If your physician has information about certain genes, they may be able to tailor treatment for conditions such as deep vein thrombosis or cancers, according to your genetic makeup.


Reviewed in May 2018 by Dr. Kevin Lau 劉仲恒醫生. Dr. Lau graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong and is currently the Medical Director at Trinity Medical Imaging Centre in Central. He is qualified as a Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists (United Kingdom), The Hong Kong College of Radiologists and The Hong Kong Academy of Medicine. He obtained his Master in Public Health & Master in Public Administration from the University of Hong Kong.

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This article was independently written by Healthy Matters and is not sponsored. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be relied upon for specific medical advice.

Dr. Lau Chung Hang Kevin
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