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Screening Tests: Which Ones Do I Need?

You can take action to stay healthy by following daily steps to good health, getting screening tests (standard tests to look for signs of particular diseases) and taking medicines to prevent disease. The following list tells you what to do and when.

Daily Steps to Good Health


  • Be tobacco free: All men and women-Ages 50 to 80 and older
  • Be physically active: All men and women-Ages 50 to 80 and older
  • Eat a healthy diet: All men and women-Ages 50 to 80 and older
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation: All men and women-Ages 50 to 80 and older

Screening Tests and Preventive Medicine


Heart and Vascular Diseases


  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Tests: Once for men-Ages 65 to 75 who have smoked *
  • Aspirin to Prevent Heart Attack: Men-Ages 50 to 80 at risk *
  • Aspirin to Prevent Stroke: Women-Ages 55 to 80 at risk *
  • Blood Pressure Screening Test: All men and women-Ages 50 and older, at least every 2 years
  • Cholesterol Screening Test: All men and women-Ages 50 and older
  • Diabetes Screening Test: Men and women-Ages 50 and older with high blood pressure

Cancer


  • Breast Cancer Screening ( Mammogram): All women-Ages 50 and older, every 1 to 2 years
  • Breast Cancer Preventive Medicines: Women-Ages 50 to 80 at risk *
  • Cervical Cancer Screening (Pap Smear): All women-Ages 50 to 65, at least every 3 years
  • Colorectal Cancer Screening Test: All men and women-Ages 50 and older

Bone Disease


  • Osteoporosis Screening (Bone Density Scan): Women at risk*-Ages 60 to 65, and all women-Ages 65 and older

Sexual Health


Mental Health


Immunizations


  • Flu Vaccine: All men and women-Ages 50 and older, annually
  • Other Vaccines: You can prevent some serious diseases, such as pneumonia, whooping cough, tetanus, and shingles, by being vaccinated. Talk with your doctor or nurse about which vaccines you need and when to get them.

*What does it mean to be "at risk?" Being at risk means that you may be more likely to develop a specific disease or condition. Whether you are at risk depends on your family history, things you do or don't do (such as exercising regularly or using tobacco), and other health conditions you might have (such as diabetes). If you think you might be at risk for a specific disease, talk with your doctor.

Above content provided by AARP.org in conjunction with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

Posted September 2010

Contact Information

NEED HELP FINDING A BIDMC DOCTOR?
Call 1-800-667-5356. Representatives are available to assist you live 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Contact Information

Division of Gerontology
Department of Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Lowry Medical Office Building #1B (West Campus)
110 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02215
617-632-8696

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