Objective: To examine the effect of annual health checkups on medical expenditures in Japanese middle-aged workers.
Methods: Medical expenditure data were accumulated from a health insurance society with 38 affiliated companies in Japan. Eligible employees (1811 men and 787 women) aged 40 to 55 years, who received medical care in 2002 (baseline year) and 2006 (4 years later) were surveyed about their participation in health checkups in 2003, 2004, and 2005.
Results: After adjusting for medical care use in the baseline year, the 4-year total (2003–2006) of medical expenditures was significantly lower in those who had more frequent health checkups for both genders. The 4-year change (from 2002 to 2006) of medical expenditures was inversely associated with the frequency of health checkups, and this association was statistically significant for men.
Conclusions: Annual health checkups may contribute to reduction of medical expenditures in Japanese middle-aged workers.