In addition to the basics — eating healthy, exercising and staying away from tobacco — it’s important to keep up with the following screenings to ensure any health conditions are caught early when they are easier to treat. When in doubt, check with your primary care provider as frequency of screenings may depend on your family history and individual risk factors.
Beginning at age 18
- Blood pressure check.
- Body mass index.
- Skin cancer check.
- Flu shot.
- Risk factors for injury.
- Mental health (discuss symptoms with your provider).
- Vision: Get regular eye exams. People with diabetes should have eyes dilated annually.
EVERY FOUR TO SIX YEARS
- Cholesterol (or earlier or more frequently if high risk for heart disease; talk to your provider).
Beginning at age 30
EVERY 5 YEARS
- Pap smear. If Pap and HPV test negative, women ages 30–65 should be tested every 5 years. Women over 65 who have had normal results do not need to be tested. Women with a history of serious cervical pre-cancer should continue to be tested for at least 20 years after diagnosis.
Beginning at age 45
EVERY 3 YEARS
- Glucose/blood sugar, or more frequently if overweight or have family risk factors.
EVERY 10 YEARS
- Colonoscopy, or more frequently if you are at an increased risk.
Beginning at age 65
- Pneumonia shot
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening, if you have ever smoked (talk to your provider).
EVERY 2 YEARS
- Osteoporosis (earlier if risk factors exist).
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Sources: American Cancer Society; American Heart Association; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Cancer Institute.