Health Exams for Men - 8 Important Screenings & Immunizations
Dear Dr. Dave & Dr. Dee,
Someone at work was telling us about their cholesterol results and stated that getting that checked was important for men. What about women? Is getting cholesterol tested that important?
Checking on cholesterol
Dear Checking on cholesterol,
Heart disease is the number killer for both men and women. Undesirable levels of cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis (plaques or fatty deposits in your arteries), which raises the risk of heart disease and stroke. A simple blood test can determine the levels of cholesterol and if necessary, treatment (diet, exercise, medication) to control the cholesterol.
However, a cholesterol test is one of many important health screenings for men and women to find problems in its early stages in order to improve the chances of successful treatment.
In brief, below are preventive screening tests and immunizations for men by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Health exams for women can be found in the link below.
8 IMPORTANT HEALTH SCREENINGS & IMMUNIZATIONS FOR MEN
The following recommendations are general guidelines for screening procedures for men at average risk for most diseases. Your health care provider will personalize the timing of each test and immunization to best meet your health care needs.
1. ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM SCREENING
a. Get this one-time screening if you are age 65 to 75 and have ever smoked.
2. BLOOD PRESSURE TEST
a. Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).
b. Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.
c. Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.
3. CHOLESTEROL TEST
a. Age 18-39: Starting at age 20 until age 35, get a cholesterol test if you are at increased risk for heart disease. Starting at age 35 and older, get a cholesterol test regularly. Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.
b. Age 40 on up: Get a cholesterol test regularly. Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.
4. COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING
a. Age 50-75: Starting at age 50, get screened for colorectal cancer. Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.
5. DIABETES SCREENING
a. Age 18 on up: Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure.
6. HIV TEST
a. Age 18 on up: Get tested if you are at increased risk for HIV. Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse.
7. SYPHILIS SCREENING
a. Age 18 on up: Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk.
a. Influenza vaccine: age 18 and older every year.
b. Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Td/Tdap) vaccine: Tdap vaccine once, then Td booster vaccine every 10 years for ages 18-64. For age 65 and over, Td/Tdap for adults who have contact with babies less than 1 year old.
c. Varicella (Chickenpox): 2 doses
d. HPV Vaccine for Men: 3 doses if age 19-21; 3 doses age 22-26 if high risk for serious illness, discuss with doctor.
e. Zoster (Shingles): starting at age 60, one time only.
f. Measler, Mumps, Rubells (MMR): 1 or 2 doses
g. Pneumococcal (Pneumonia): Age 19-64 1 or 2 doses if high risk for serious illness discuss with doctor); age 65 or older one dose.
h. Meningococcal vaccine: 1 or more doses if high risk for serious illness, discuss with doctor.
i. Hepatitis A: 2 doses if high risk for serious illness, discuss with doctor.
j. Hepatitis B: 3 doses if high risk for serious illness, discuss with doctor.
For more information, go to http://www.womenshealth.gov/screening-tests-and-vaccines/