Health Care

Recommended Health Screenings by Age and Gender

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When it comes to your long-term health, it’s important to be proactive. And since many serious diseases have no noticeable symptoms at first, it’s important to get your recommended health screenings based on age and gender.

Health screenings are a part of preventive health care and can detect serious diseases before they worsen. Follow our preventive health care guide for recommended health screenings by age and gender to determine which screenings are right for you.

The Shift From Reactive to Proactive Health Care

At AdventHealth Primary Care+, we encourage you to be proactive rather than reactive in your health care. Reactive health care only addresses problems once they’ve taken over your body. For example, cancer treatments are classified as reactive health care.

On the other hand, cancer screenings and early detection would fall under proactive, or preventive, health care. You’re taking steps to protect your health in the future, even if you think you’re healthy right now.

Not only is this empowering, but it also prevents certain health issues from escalating. Early intervention saves lives.

Standards for the Recommended Health Screenings by Age and Gender

We’re here to explain the routine health exams you’ll need throughout your lifetime, regardless of age or gender. Depending on your health, you may also require additional testing.

General Checkups and Baseline Assessments

More data is always better for your health. We recommend routine physical exams and annual wellness checkups to establish a baseline. During routine checkups, your primary care physician will assess health factors like blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

No matter your age or gender, it’s recommended to get an annual physical. A physical is likely the most important health screening you can get to maintain optimal health throughout your lifetime.

Immunizations and Preventive Vaccines

During routine primary care visits, your physician will check your vaccination status to ensure your immunizations are fully updated. They may recommend additional vaccines based on your lifestyle, travel habits and occupational risks.

Gender-Specific Health Screenings

Recommended health screenings are based on your gender assigned at birth and your current age. This information helps primary care providers administer specific exams to protect you and reduce your risk of future health problems.

Recommended Health Screenings by Age and Gender

Health Screenings in Early Adulthood (18 to 30 Years)

During early adulthood, the risk of developing life-threatening diseases is typically low. However, preventive health care starts with awareness. Adhering to your recommended health screenings can make all the difference in your long-term health and quality of life.

Here’s what we recommend for adults between 18 and 30 years old:

Women’s Health Screenings (18 to 30 Years)

Women should get the following health screenings each year:

  • Annual physicals
  • Breast exams (self-exams and clinical exams)
  • HPV testing
  • Pap smears

HPV testing and Pap smears help protect your cervical health by screening for signs of cervical cancer.

Men’s Health Screenings (18 to 30 Years)

Men should get the following health screenings each year:

  • Annual physicals
  • Prostate cancer screenings (if you’re high-risk)
  • Testicular self-exams
  • Yearly sexual health checkups

At this stage of your life, you likely do not need prostate cancer screenings. Always check with your primary care provider before making a decision.

Health Screenings in Mid-Adulthood (30 to 50 Years)

As you reach middle age, your risk of developing chronic diseases and health problems increases. It’s important to stay aware of the recommended health screenings by age and gender so that you can take charge of your health. Here’s what you need to know about navigating your health at this age:

Comprehensive Physical Examinations

You may need more in-depth physical exams to identify potential health concerns during your middle-aged years. These checkups often include bloodwork to monitor your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Each of these measures helps your health care team ensure your metabolic health is in good shape.

Women’s Health Screenings (30 to 50 Years)

Middle-aged women have an increased risk of developing certain cancers. That’s why more women’s health screenings exist for this age group.

You need these health screenings during middle age:

  • Bone density scans
  • Breast self-exams and clinical exams
  • Colorectal cancer screenings
  • Mammograms
  • Ovarian and uterine cancer screenings

Depending on your risk factors, you may need more extensive testing after each of these women’s health screenings.

Men’s Health Screenings (30 to 50 Years)

Men in the middle-age phase of life need more in-depth health screenings than before. These tests will help detect serious men’s health problems early.

These health screenings for men are initiated during middle age:

  • Cardiovascular risk assessments (including blood pressure and cholesterol)
  • Colorectal cancer screenings
  • Continued discussions about prostate cancer
  • Prostate exams and cancer screenings

Always talk to your provider about your individual health risks. Many of these problems are hereditary.

Health Screenings in Later Adulthood (50+ Years)

The older you are, the more at risk you are for chronic health problems. When speaking with your physician, remember these recommended health screenings.

Regular Monitoring and Comprehensive Assessments

As with any other phase of life, you’ll need regular physicals and checkups after age 50. We continue to check your blood sugar, cholesterol levels, blood pressure and other health markers. Eye exams, dental assessments and annual physicals are also important at this age.

Ongoing Women’s Health Screenings

Postmenopausal women need continued bone density scans to check for signs of osteoporosis. Gynecologic cancer screenings should also remain on your list.

You may need more frequent mammograms and colorectal cancer screenings as you get older. If you’re a smoker, ask your doctor about lung cancer screenings after you turn 50.

Ongoing Men’s Health Screenings

Continue to get regular prostate exams and cancer screenings, particularly if you’re high-risk. You’ll also need ongoing and more frequent colorectal cancer screenings. Add lung cancer screenings to this list if you’re a smoker.

You may need osteoporosis screenings if you’re at risk of developing bone density problems. Although this is less common in men than women, it’s still possible.

Lifestyle and Risk Factor Considerations

Your lifestyle choices and other risk factors contribute to your risk of developing certain diseases. From cancer to chronic illness, your health could be in jeopardy as you age.

Lifestyle Choices

Lifestyle factors like diet, exercise habits and smoking all impact your health. You can change negative lifestyle habits to reduce your health risk levels.

Family History

Many diseases have strong genetic components. If you have a family history of cancer or other diseases, you may be at higher risk.

Personalized Screening Plans With Health Care Providers

While this guide offers a general schedule for the recommended health screenings by age and gender, you should always consult your primary care provider. They know your risk factors and personal history, so they can best tailor your screening schedules to your health. It’s always important to maintain open communication with your health care provider.

FAQs: Recommended Health Screenings by Age and Gender

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Why are there recommended health screenings by age and gender?

Family history, age and your gender assigned at birth contribute to increased risk factors for certain diseases or illnesses. Health screenings are recommended by age and gender so that you may receive the appropriate exams and treatments throughout your life.

Take Charge of Your Health at AdventHealth Primary Care+

Whatever your age or life stage, prevention is the best medicine. At AdventHealth Primary Care+, we help you approach your long-term health goals with routine screenings and empower you to actively participate in your health care plan.

To learn more or to get your recommended health screenings, book a preventive health appointment with an AdventHealth Primary Care+ provider near you.

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