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American Academy of Family Physicians Issues New Recommendations for Periodic Health Examinations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 11, 2003
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5222
“The Periodic Health Examination recommendations are one of the most-used tools of our membership,” said Michael Fleming, M.D., president of the AAFP. “While these recommendations cannot substitute for the individual judgment brought to each clinical situation by the family physician, they do offer helpful evidence-based guidance regarding prevention, screening and patient care.”
The additions made to the RPHE include a new recommendation to screen adults for depression. However, the AAFP concluded that there is still insufficient evidence to recommend for or against routine screening of children or adolescents for depression.
The new RPHE also includes a recommendation to screen for type 2 diabetes in adults with hypertension or hyperlipidemia. It also indicates that there is now sufficient evidence-based research to recommend routine screening for women aged 60 and older at increased risk for osteoporotic fractures and for women aged 65 and older for osteoporosis.
The new RPHE has several revised guidelines, including those for prostate cancer screening. The previous recommendation recommended counseling for men ages 50-60 regarding the known risks and benefits of screening for prostate cancer. The revised RPHE indicates that there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against routine screening for prostate cancer using prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing or digital rectal examination (DRE).
The new RPHE was developed by the AAFP’s Commission on Clinical Policies and Research, which based its recommendations on evidence reports and recommendations developed by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The RPHE was last revised in 2002.
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org.
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