Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Importance Of Regular Health Screening

Preventive health screenings are crucial in identifying risk factors for chronic diseases and non-communicable diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

By nurturing a culture of proactive health care, we can pave the way for a future where preventable illnesses are rare, and everyone thrives in good health. Picture courtesy of Sunway Medical Centre.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 – The age-old adage “prevention is better than cure” resonates profoundly, where our health often takes a backseat amidst our busy schedules and responsibilities in today’s fast-paced world.

We only often seek medical attention when we are already feeling unwell, often unaware that a disease might have silently progressed to advanced stages.

The consequences of delayed detection can be severe, leading to more complex treatments and reduced chances of full recovery. 

According to the Health and Morbidity Survey 2019, only 49 per cent of Malaysians underwent health screening in the last 12 months. This means that 51 per cent of Malaysians did not.

This alarming statistic underscores the urgent need for a shift in healthcare practices, emphasising the importance of regular health screenings as a fundamental aspect of maintaining one’s well-being.  

Dr Wee Hui Yin, resident medical officer at Sunway Medical Centre explores the significance of preventive health screenings, shedding light on their importance in promoting a healthier society.

“Although health screenings should be tailored to each individual based on gender, age and family history, a general guideline is to have a comprehensive health screening annually, but for those with specific risk factors, more frequent screenings may be necessary,” she advised.

Health Screening Guidelines And Recommendations 

The Family Medicine Specialists Association of Malaysia has created a Consensus Guide to Adult Health Screening for the general population attending primary care clinics.

This guide provides evidence-based guidelines for health screenings that follow a grade level for screening based on different age groups.

The guidelines outline the epidemiology and magnitude of each medical problem, the benefits of screening and treatment, specific recommended screening tests, and any harm from screening.

Reducing The Burden Of Non-Communicable Or Chronic Diseases

Preventive health screenings are crucial in identifying risk factors for chronic diseases and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

In Malaysia, according to the National Health and Morbidity 2019 findings, NCDs are the leading cause of death and disability, with an estimated one in five adult Malaysians living with diabetes, one in three living with hypertension, and nearly half are overweight or obese.

The same study also reveals that cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and coronary heart disease are also the main leading causes of death in Malaysia.

Additionally, low-dose CT Thorax and Cardiac calcium scoring are important for populations with a high risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease respectively. 

“Preventive health screenings help identify risk factors and markers associated with these conditions. An annual health check-up that includes blood tests for cardiovascular health, blood sugar, and blood pressure tests is essential.

“Suppose you are doing your check-up with a new doctor. In that case, it is highly recommended that you share your previous health and family history, including your past results and current medications, so the doctor can properly advise you and treat you if you have an existing health risk,” she said.

Health screenings such as blood tests can also help detect these markers early. This enables individuals to take note of their health and empower themselves to start making lifestyle changes, such as adopting a balanced diet and regular exercise, significantly reducing the risk of developing these conditions and allowing their health care professional to treat the markers before it is too late.

For example, according to the National Breast Cancer Registry, one in 20 Malaysian women develop breast cancer in their lifetime, and 40 per cent of new cases detected were already found to be in the late stage. 

“Most pharmacies in Malaysia provide free blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure tests that provide a glimpse into your health risk at no extra cost. The Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) also provides Malaysians with free national health screening initiative,” according to Dr Wee. 

Dispelling Misconceptions On Health Screening 

Dr Wee also dispelled common myths about health screenings.

“Among the many misconceptions I often hear are that screenings are only necessary when symptoms appear or are time-consuming or painful and only for older people. This is simply not true.

“Health screenings aim to monitor and detect health problems before they worsen, even without symptoms, as they enable early detection and intervention. It is also important that people of all ages have screenings to establish baseline health information so that doctors can treat abnormalities or monitor for any risks of future health issues,” she explained.

“Some of the people who come in may also be in denial or scared that they might have what their parents had or died from. This can put a lot of stress on their mental health and increase their worry or anxiety, especially while waiting for the results, or they prefer not to know.

“However, one of the most powerful aspects of preventive health screenings is the knowledge they provide. When patients understand their health status and associated risks, they become active participants in their wellbeing. 

“Your health is priceless. Invest in it today through preventive screenings, echoing the fervent advocacy of dedicated health care professionals who champion your wellness,” said Dr Wee.

By nurturing a culture of proactive health care, we can pave the way for a future where preventable illnesses are rare, and everyone thrives in good health.

You May Also Like


Disebabkan kemajuan pesat yang telah dicapai dalam platform teknologi pembiakan, adalah penting untuk memulakan perbincangan di kalangan sarjana Islam, pakar kesuburan, saintis bioperubatan, penggubal...


The nursing education sponsorship will guarantee five years of employment with KL International Hospital.


MOH must take responsibility for promoting the message that there are no medical benefits to FGM, said Rozana Isa, executive director of Sisters in...


Baby formula manufacturers have a history of aggressive marketing and exploiting women’s anxieties to wean them off breastfeeding.