PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Just how important is it to get an annual physical examination? This is a question that more and more people are asking, especially with economic concerns.

You won’t be surprised that I come down on the side of the exam. That is because I believe that the most valuable part of the exam is to help educate about preventive steps to avoid conditions.

A real easy example is high blood pressure. We know that high blood pressure is a silent killer and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke but if the diagnosis is not made, long term irreversible damage can occur.

Another big advantage is getting lab tests, but nothing beats the advice and lifestyle tips.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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