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Health screening - men age 65 and older

All adults should visit their health care provider regularly, even if they feel healthy. The purpose of these visits is to:

  • Screen for diseases
  • Assess risk of future medical problems
  • Help develop a healthy lifestyle
  • Update vaccinations
  • Get to know your doctor in case of an illness

Alternative Names

Health maintenance visit - men - over 65; Physical exam - men - over 65; Yearly exam - men - over 65; Checkup - men - over 65; Men's health - over 65

Information

Even if you feel fine, you should still see your health care provider for regular checkups. These visits can avoid problems in the future. For example, the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked regularly. High blood sugar and high cholesterol levels also may not have any symptoms in the early stages.

There are certain times when you should see your health care provider.

ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM

  • Men ages 65 to 75 who have smoked should have an ultrasound done to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysms .
  • Other men should discuss this screening with their health care provider.

BLOOD PRESSURE

  • Have your blood pressure checked every year.
  • If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often.

CHOLESTEROL AND HEART DISEASE

  • Cholesterol should be rechecked every 5 years if levels are normal.
  • If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to checked more often.
  • Some men should consider taking aspirin to prevent heart attacks. Check with your doctor before starting. 

COLON CANCER

  • People from age 50 to 75 should be screened for colorectal cancer.
  • A stool occult blood test should be done every year.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years.
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years.
  • People with risk factors for colon cancer, such as ulcerative colitis, a family history of colorectal cancer, or a family history of large colorectal adenomas may need a colonoscopy more often.
  • After age 75, you should discuss colon cancer screening with your doctor. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends stopping colon cancer screening after age 85.

DENTAL EXAM

  • Go to the dentist every year for an exam and cleaning.

EYE EXAM

  • Have an eye exam every 2 years if you have vision problems or glaucoma risk.

IMMUNIZATIONS

  • If you are age 65 or older, get a pneumococcal vaccine if you have never had one, or it has been more than 5 years since you had the vaccine.
  • You should get a flu shot each year.
  • Get a tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years.
  • You may get a shingles or herpes zoster vaccination after age 60.

INFECTIOUS DISEASES

  • You may need to be screened for infections such as syphilis, chlamydia, and other infections. Screening will depend on your lifestyle and medical history.
  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening all adults up to age 65 for HIV infection unless the prevalence is known to be less than 1 in 1000 people.

OSTEOPOROSIS

  • All men over age 65 with risk factors for osteoporosis should check with their doctor about screening.

PROSTATE CANCER

  • All men age 50 or older should talk to their doctor about prostate cancer screening.
  • If screening is done, a PSA test is the best method.

PREVENTIVE HEALTH VISITS

  • Have yearly screenings.
  • Your weight and height will be checked.
  • You will be screened for alcohol and tobacco use and for depression.
  • You will go over your medicines and risk of interactions.
  • You will be checked for hearing loss.

References

Atkins D, Barton M. The periodic health examination. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 14.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended immunization schedule for adults aged 19 and older – United States, 2013. MMWR supplement 2013;62(1):9-19. Accessed May 12, 2013.

Greenland P, Alpert JS, Beller GA, et al. 2010 ACCF/AHA guideline for assessment of cardiovascular risk in asymptomatic adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2010;122(25):e584-e636.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Recommendations for adults. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2013. Accessed May 12, 2013.

Rex DK, Johnson DA, Anderson JC, Schoenfeld PS, Burke CA, Inadomi JM; American College of Gastroenterology. American College of Gastroenterology guidelines for colorectal cancer screening 2009 [corrected]. Am J Gastroenterol. 2009;104:739-750.

Lieberman DA. Clinical practice. Screening for colorectal cancer. N Engl J Med. 2009;361:1179-1187.

Burt RW, Barthel JS, Dunn KB, et al. NCCN clinical practice guidelines in oncology. Colorectal cancer screening. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2010 Jan;8(1):8-61.

Basch E, Oliver TK, Vickers A, et al. Screening for prostate cancer with prostate-specific antigen testing: American Society of Clinical Oncology provisional clinical opinion. J Clin Oncol. 2012 Aug 20;30(24):3020-5. Epub 2012 Jul 16.

Chou R, Croswell JM, Dana T,et al. Screening for prostate cancer: a review of the evidence for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med. 2011 Dec 6;155(11):762-71. Epub2011 Oct 7.

Wolf AM, Wender RC, Etzioni RB, et al. American Cancer Society guideline for the early detection of prostate cancer: update 2010. CA Cancer J Clin. 2010;60:70-98.

National Osteoporosis Foundation. Clinician's Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis. Washington, DC: National Osteoporosis Foundation; 2010.

Updated: 5/13/2013

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.


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