General health checks do not reduce the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease or cancer, a new study has found.
They do, however, increase the number of new diagnoses, the researchers said.
Health checks were defined as screening for more than one disease or risk factor in more than one organ system offered to a general population unselected for disease or risk factors.
Authors from the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Denmark carried out a review of a total of 14 trials that looked at systematic health checks. The studies had between 1 and 22 years of follow-up.
Nine of the 14 trials had data on mortality and included 182,880 participants, 11,940 of whom died during the study period. 76,403 were invited to health checks and the remainder were not.