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Health Ministry Gears Up for Mass Medical Checkups

Pull up your shirt and hold your breath — the Health Ministry is itching to launch a mass wave of medical checkups.

Starting next year, every Russian adult will have to undergo a comprehensive medical checkup once in every three years, according to a statement posted Tuesday on the ministry's official website.

The tests will include medical checkups by doctors with different specializations, followup checkups, disease-prevention counseling and, if necessary, medical interventions and health monitoring.

The ministry's primary objective is to detect at an early stage chronic noncommunicable diseases that are the key cause of disability and premature deaths in the country, the statement said, adding that the bulk of the medical tests will be carried out by medical clinics and their therapists.

The checkups will also help detect major risk factors of chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood sugar, obesity, poor nutrition, low physical activity and bad habits including smoking, alcohol consumption and drug use.

Screening programs will differ depending on the age and gender of the patient and will be carried out in two stages. The first checkup will take place when the patient is 21 years old, after which the checkups will happen at three-year intervals.

World War II veterans and full-time students will have to undergo the medical tests annually.

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