Harvard Health Letter

Ask the doctor: Should you keep that yearly check-up?

Anthony L. Komaroff, M.D.

Q. I'm 73 and in great health. Is it okay to skip my annual physical?

A. It all depends on what you mean by "great health" and "annual physical." I would define "great health" as having no known chronic illnesses. However, most people your age have at least one chronic illness—such as high blood pressure. People with chronic illnesses need to be checked out at least once a year, and usually more often.

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