Cardiovascular diseases are first in patient morbidity and mortality, especially in the Western World.
As expected, periodic primary prevention screening health checks exploring cardiovascular risk occupy a large part of GP clinical time and effort.
This UK study adds evidence to the known concept that screening health checks are ineffective, costly, and counterproductive. 
In a recent analysis of all available studies, cancer screening has never been shown to “save lives”. 
Thus, GP primary screening against both the first and the second most common causes of patient morbidity and mortality, proved ineffective.
Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the Western World, certainly avoided if nannying visits to general practitioners/family doctors are drastically reduced.
GPs even fail to follow simple cancer prevention guidelines. 
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death, but since smoking and air pollution are its most common risk factors, nagging visits to GPs don't help avoiding this disease.
Even a third of adults with previous diagnosis of asthma and chronically treated, never had the disease. 
Motor vehicle and firearm accidents are the fifth leading cause of death, but, understandably, they are not preventable by GP visits.
Suicides and self-harm traumatisms are the sixth leading cause of death, but GPs could not reduce them , probably because recent evidence reveals that administered antidepressants actually increase suicide risks by 2-5 times. 
Health checks do not even manage to identify and treat pre-diabetic patients. 
Family doctor extensive H1N1 vaccinations do not offer protection against influenza related hospital admissions. 
Visits to GPs do not diagnose dementia earlier. 
NSAIDs offer no clinical benefit for spinal pain, a systematic review and meta-analysis reveals. 
Non-drug therapies should be first line treatment for low back pain, according to US guidance to clinicians. 
Concluding, frequent visits and health checks to family doctors do not seem to reduce specific morbidities and mortalities from the seven most frequent diseases that afflict patients.
After these embarrassing findings, policy strategists must rethink primary care’s gatekeeper role.
Competing interests: No competing interests