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Stay on Top of Health Screenings

Stay on Top of Health Screenings

Posted By || 15-Sep-2016

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 Screening
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.

Colon Cancer
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 more frequently.

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!

Categories: General

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