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Updated: April 7, 2014 04:17 IST

Health checks draw the young

Serena Josephine M.
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There is a substantial increase in the number of persons, especially youngsters and women, going for preventive medical tests, as compared to a decade ago. It is a very encouraging trend, say doctors.

The adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ has been said and heard a million times. But doctors in the city are happy that Chennaiites, particularly the young, are putting it into practice.

Many youngsters have been going in for preventive health checks offered by various city hospitals.

Master health check-ups, which have been around for several years, have also gathered steam, of late. These checks are available at government and private hospitals.

While government hospitals offer a set of basic tests, private centres offer a bouquet of these services to cater to different needs.

At Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (GH), the master health check has been offered for as little as Rs. 250 since the early 2000s. The hospital receives not less than 60 persons for these checks every day.

“The patient gets the results on the third day, following which she/he can consult a doctor at the hospital. Those in need of treatment are referred to the respective departments,” said a hospital official.

Students, residents of neighbouring districts, government officials and their families, and those requiring pre-employment medical checks utilise GH’s service.

Doctors find the trend encouraging. When compared to a decade ago, there is a substantial increase in the number of people coming for the health checks, said Vinod Premanand, senior consultant, internal medicine, Fortis Malar Hospital.

“An interesting trend is that more young persons, including those in their late 20s, are opting for these checks. Young women are also coming in for these health checks. If we pick up a health problem early, in a 30-year-old, we have the freedom to recommend lifestyle modifications and not put her/him on any medication immediately. This is not always possible with a 40-year-old person,” said Dr. Premanand.

For early detection of health problems, doctors said, persons aged 30 and above can take these check-ups. “In the early stages, diabetes, hypertension and cardiac problems often do not show symptoms. Many people, who think they are otherwise healthy, can get to know their actual status through these checks,” said N. Sathyabhama, director of medical services, Apollo Hospitals.

These checks facilitate early detection of cancers too, she said.

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