An apple a day keeps the doctor away. However, as we get older, seeing
your physician may not be such a bad thing. In fact, keeping up to date
with your health screenings cannot only help you feel better, it can help
prevent future diseases and complications. Too often, individuals visit
their doctors only when they feel unwell. According to the
American Public Health Association, only one in three older adults receive the recommended number of screenings.
People come at risk for adverse conditions as they age.
In many cases, early detection of heart diseases and cancers can help prevent
and limit the damage done to the body. That is why regular health screenings,
in addition to your physical checkups, are very important, especially
for men and women over the age of 65.
Health screenings can help with:
- Updating vaccinations
- Screening for medical issues
- Assessing risks of future health problems
- Encouraging a proactive stance about your health
Health Screenings & Frequency
While you may know to go in for an annual physical, few people adhere to
this suggestion. Doing so can help you age healthy and can keep you feeling
well and active for longer. For a better understanding of what health
factors to screen for, read below.
Blood Pressure Screening
High blood pressure is one of the most common chronic conditions among
adults. If left untreated, it can lead to heart disease and strokes. Because
high blood pressure does not have noticeable symptoms, it is important
to get it screened
at least every two years. If your blood pressure is higher than average, you may need to have it
monitored more frequently.
Cholesterol should be checked
every five years if you have normal levels. If you have diabetes, kidney problems, or other
medical conditions, your physician may recommend frequent screenings.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that over 29 million Americans have diabetes, while one
in four individuals does not know. More than 20 million adults, between
the ages of 40 and 74, live with elevated glucose levels, which places
them in the “pre-diabetes” range.
Annual glucose screenings can warn you about diabetes and encourage you to make appropriate changes
in lifestyle and diet.
The Merck Institute of Aging and Health names colorectal cancer as the
second-leading cause of death in the United States. Early detection can
increase the chances of survival. Until the age of 75, you should be screened
for colon cancer
at least once. Colonoscopies should be performed every
ten years. Those who show more prominent risks of color cancer may need a colonoscopy
The National Institutes of Health estimates an average of 34 million seniors
experience low bone mass. Women, in particular, are more susceptible to
losing bone density. Women over the age of 65 and men over the age of
70 should all be screened for osteoporosis. Early detection can help individuals
change their diet and try new drugs that help bone strength.
Mammogram (For Women)
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends women start having regular mammograms at the age of 50,
every two years. Research shows timely mammogram screenings can help prevent up to 17% of
all breast cancer deaths. Women with a history of breast cancer or who
display symptoms should have the screening more often,
at least once a year.
Prostate Cancer Screening (For Men)
The American Cancer Society names prostate cancer as the second-leading
cause of death among men in the United States. However, if detected early,
treatment is available.
Taking a proactive approach to aging and your health will not only keep
you in control, but also help you enjoy life. It is important to know
and understand your family’s medical history and communicate it
to your healthcare provider. We hope that keeping up on your health screenings
will allow you to prevent and limit any future medical issues.
To learn more about how to stay healthy, happy, and active in 2016, read our blog!