The odometer on my Toyota Avalon just passed 100,000 and soon the “check engine” light went on. It was a reminder that I needed to take my car for routine servicing.
Thought it is annoying the “check engine” light is an “in the face” reminder of needed preventive services.
Likewise – I wish there were “check health” reminders that would go on at different ages of our life. The top health experts at U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggest the following preventive maintenances for good health. Details
For men and women:
Cholesterol Checks: Have your cholesterol checked regularly starting at age 45 (age 35 for men). If you smoke, have diabetes, or if heart disease runs in your family, start having your cholesterol checked at age 20.
Blood Pressure: Have your blood pressure checked at least every 2 years.
Colorectal Cancer Tests: Have a test for colorectal cancer starting at age 50. Your doctor can help you decide which test is right for you.
Diabetes Tests: Have a test to screen for diabetes if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Depression: If you’ve felt “down,” sad, or hopeless, and have felt little interest or pleasure in doing things for 2 weeks straight, talk to your doctor about whether he or she can screen you for depression.
Aspirin: Talk to your doctor about taking aspirin to prevent heart disease if you are older than 45 and have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or if you smoke.
Immunizations: Stay up-to-date with your immunizations:
– Have a flu shot every year starting at age 50.
– Have a tetanus-diphtheria shot every 10 years.
– Have a pneumonia shot once at age 65.
– Talk to your doctor to see whether you need hepatitis B shots.
Mammograms: Have a mammogram every 1 to 2 years starting at age 40.
Pap Smears: Have a Pap smear every 1 to 3 years if you have been sexually active or are older than 21.
Chlamydia Tests and Tests for Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Have a test for Chlamydia if you are 25 or younger and sexually active. If you are older, talk to your doctor to see whether you should be tested. Also, talk to your doctor to see whether you should be tested for other sexually transmitted diseases.
Hormones: According to recent studies, the risks of taking the combined hormones estrogen and progestin after menopause to prevent long-term illnesses outweigh the benefits. Talk to your doctor about whether starting or continuing to take hormones is right for you.
Breast Cancer Drugs: If your mother, sister, or daughter has had breast cancer, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking medicines to prevent breast cancer.
· Osteoporosis Tests: Have a bone density test at age 65 to screen for osteoporosis (thinning of the bones). If you are between the ages of 60 and 64 and weigh 154 lbs. or less, talk to your doctor about whether you should be tested.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Talk to your doctor to see whether you should be screened for sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV.
Prostate Cancer Screening: Talk to your doctor about the possible benefits and harms of prostate cancer screening if you are considering having a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test or digital rectal examination (DRE).