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A Comprehensive Guide to Health Screening Starting by 20s.

What medical tests are required when you reach your 20s, 30s up to older age?

[dropcap]R[/dropcap]egarding health, prevention is better than cure. Staying healthy isn’t hard, but it requires effort and awareness. Getting adequate screening tests helps discover possible health concerns while they’re treatable. Facilities for screening are basically intended for those with no symptoms. Therefore, even if you feel well, it is recommended to follow your appointments. As people age, the screening needs vary. There are certain tests and health screenings that are required regardless of age, but once someone starts a test based on their medical and family history, it may or not be necessary for life. To learn more about what a medical checkup is and what to expect from it? Read our article here.

Depending on the medical history, the healthcare professional may prescribe certain health screenings or diagnostic procedures for each age and there are certain tests that are required for men and women separately, we will be looking into them here in this article.

Health Screening and Physical Exam at Your 20s & 30s

Of all the hype and things going on in life, your health may not be at the top of the list of concerns you have at his age. The reality is that the finest investment you can make in your 20s and 30s is in yourself since the health foundation you develop throughout this decade will help determine the rest of your life. The following medical checks and simple tests are aimed to detect problems early, especially if you’re not feeling any symptoms. An early diagnosis will offer you the best opportunity of resolving any concerns before they evolve into something more severe, providing yourself the best possible chance of a long, joyful & healthy life.

  1. General Physical Exam. A primary care physician does physical exams every one to three years, depending on your family history and health. Your doctor should regularly check your height, weight, and BMI. They may also inquire about mental health, depression, alcohol, drug, and cigarette usage, food, and vaccinations. It is recommended that a healthy person should have a physical exam every two to three years.
  2. Blood Pressure Screening. From the time you are 20 years old, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that you get your blood pressure tested at least once every two years if it is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) which is the optimum reading.
  3. Cholesterol Profile. This is a tool for assessing the risk of acquiring cardiovascular disease or a stroke. The total cholesterol levels ideally are below 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl); a measurement that falls between 200 and 239 mg/dl is considered to be on the high side. According to the CDC, if you are 20 or older, you should get your cholesterol checked every five years, and the AHA advises that everyone have a cholesterol test every four to six years, but those at risk for high cholesterol may need testing more commonly.
  4. Dental Checkups. Regular dental exams, which include cleaning, inspecting, and x-raying the teeth, may detect early symptoms of tooth decay and other disorders. As people in their 20s and 30s are most impacted by early symptoms of periodontal disease or localized gingival recession, as well as hard tissue concerns like caries or dental wear, with an elevated risk of gingivitis for women who are pregnant owing to an increase in progesterone hormone levels
  5. Skin Checkup. Doctors examine your skin and discover any extra moles, overgrowth, or other variations that might signal problems. Doctors typically employ a special light to emphasize any anomalies, ensuring that the back and other hard-to-see body parts are properly checked for symptoms of skin cancer. For part of an overall routine screening approach, doctors suggest annual visits to a dermatologist.
  6. Eye Examination. eyes screeningThe American Optometric Association advises an eye checkup every two years for persons aged 19 to 40. Eye exams should be performed every other year if you use contacts or glasses. If you do not have visual difficulties, you may not be required to undergo screening. However, if you have any concerns, you should see an eye doctor.
  7. Immunizations. Vaccinations are recommended by the CDC to protect against several illnesses.

8. HIV Testing. HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is an infection that, if untreated, may lead to AIDS. There are more than 1.1 million persons living with HIV in the United States, yet it is possible that they are unaware of their status. All genders, races, and ages are prone to this.  So, get the test in your 20s, particularly if you’re not practicing safe sex. Between the ages of 13 and 64, the CDC advises everyone to receive an HIV test. Unprotected sex and sharing of injectable drug equipment should be tested annually.

9. Sexually Transmitted Infections/ Diseases. Tests for sexually transmitted diseases are done depending on the patient’s lifestyle or preferences. Recommended testing varies for males and women. Typically, CDC advises that all sexually active women and men under the age of 25 must go for a yearly basis medical test for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

Special Screenings for Women

  • Pelvic examination. Women get pelvic examinations to evaluate gynecological health and to test for cysts, sexually transmitted infections, and cancer. Beginning at age 21, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advises annual checkups for women. They are then scheduled periodically based on their age and health concerns.
  • Pap test. A Pap test and the HPV test may detect cervical cancer and assist with risk assessment. Women over the age of 21 should obtain a Pap test every three years, according to the updated guidelines regardless of their sexual experience. No one under 21 is required to take this medical test.
  • Breast Examination. Every woman must learn how to do a self-exam and perform one monthly at home to look for any abnormality in breast symmetry, lumps, etc. Don’t know how to perform a self-breast examination? We got it sorted out in this article Read it Here.  Beginning at age 20, a clinical breast exam is recommended every one to three years, and every year beginning at age 40. If you have a significant family history of breast cancer, a clinical breast exam may be advised more often.

Special Screenings for Men

  • Testicular Examination. A testicular exam is an examination of the appearance and texture of the testicles to identify possible problems. The examination of testicles must begin at age 15 & continue until age 40. It is essential to do a self-examination every month in order to detect any changes. Even, the doctor can check each testicle for lumps, tenderness, or changes in size. Most men with testicular cancer notice growth before seeing a doctor.
Recommended Health Screenings  Additional Screenings for Women Additional Screenings for Men
  • Physical Exam.
  • Blood Pressure Checkups.
  • Cholesterol Profile.
  • Dental Checkup.
  • Skin examination.
  • Eye Checkup.
  • Immunization.
  • HIV testing.
  • STDs.
  • Pelvic Exam.
  • Pap Test.
  • Breast Examination.
  • Testicular Exam.

Health Screening and Physical Exam in Your 40s & 50s

Even if you’re healthy, have regular medical tests and checkups. These checkups may prevent complications. The body should be scanned yearly for abnormal moles or skin lesions, and fasting blood sugar levels should be checked for diabetes. Although the schedule of the examinations may be different, the tests that you started taking in your 20s will still be utilized when you are in your 40s. In addition, you will need a number of additional examinations.

  1. Blood Glucose Test. At age 45, women and men should undergo a blood sugar level test every three years to screen for diabetes and prediabetes. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a fasting plasma glucose test value of 100 mg/dl or above indicates prediabetes, and a number more than 126 mg/dl suggests diabetes. Obese people, diabetics, and those of certain races or ethnicities should start sooner and be examined more often. Your physician can help you plan this all out. A yearly examination is advised if the results are normal.
  2. Hypertension Screening.  High blood pressure is linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) advises that persons over the age of 40, African-Americans, and those with conditions such as obesity, who are at greater risk for hypertension, must undergo an annual test
  3. Cholesterol Screening. From age 45, your cholesterol and lipids should be examined every 5 years, or every 1–2 years if you have a greater risk of CVD.
  4. Colorectal Cancer Screening. In the United States, colorectal cancer is the second-highest cause of cancer-related deaths. The key to avoiding and detecting colorectal cancer is early detection. That is why the American Cancer Society recommends that men and women begin screening for colorectal cancer at age 45 as per since research in 2021 indicates that the incidence of colorectal cancer is rising among those under 50. In addition to detecting colorectal cancer early, when it is most curable, only a colonoscopy may prevent colorectal cancer before it develops by locating and eliminating precancerous polyps. For people at moderate risk, there are additional at-home stool kits; nonetheless, a positive result requires a diagnostic colonoscopy.

5. Osteoporosis Screening. Men and women over 50 with risk factors may require a bone density scan to assess for reduced bone density and osteoporosis. Some risk factors may also necessitate those under 50 to get a scan. Such as if you are a postmenopausal woman over 45, your doctor may estimate your risk by asking you screening questions every three years. To avoid osteoporosis in your 40s, consume 1,000mg of calcium daily and exercise regularly. Vit D is also recommended.

Health Screening for Womenbreast cancer screening

  • Mammograms & Breast Examinations. Breast cancer and benign breast disorders may be detected by feeling suspicious lumps doctor will also examine the lymph nodes in the underarm region and the breasts and nipples for visual abnormalities. Along with Breast examination, Mammograms, which are basically health screening for breast tissue are also required. According to the American Cancer Society, women should begin yearly examinations at age 45 and transition to biannual mammograms at age 55, and continue until at least age 74.  If you have a family history of the illness or other concerns, discuss with your doctor the possibility of beginning yearly screenings sooner.

Breast Cancer is the most common type of cancer among women, but with proper care and precautions, it can be avoided. Learn how to prevent breast Cancer HERE.

Health Screening for Men

  • Prostate Examination. Although it is not as well acknowledged as breast cancer, prostate cancer is a major health problem for males. According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), men should begin discussing prostate cancer screening with their physicians at age 45 and must be continued with a gap of 2-3 years. Being African-American and having a family history are both risk factors for this cancer. Learn more about prostate health and the prevention of cancer in this article.
Recommended Health Screenings  Additional Screenings for Women Additional Screenings for Men
  • Blood Pressure Checkup.
  • Cholesterol Profile.
  • Glucose Testing.
  • Osteoporosis Screening.
  • Colorectal Cancer Screening.
  • Mammogram.
  • Prostate Exam.

Health Screening and Physical Exam in Your 60s and onwards

Even if you feel fine, you should still have regular checkups with your doctor. These visits can prevent you from having serious health concerns. High blood sugar and cholesterol may not show early symptoms. These diseases can be checked for with a simple blood test. A good number of the health screenings mentioned earlier should still be performed on an annual basis. In addition to those medical tests, there are a few that you should begin doing after you reach the age bracket of the 60s.

health screening for olders

  1. Visual Impairment Screening. Age increases the prevalence of eye illnesses such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. Screening may optimize and protect your eyesight. Ask your ophthalmologist how frequently you should get your eyes examined. Doctors utilize a Snellen chart to test your eyesight (the large chart with letters decreasing in size).
  2. Hearing Tests. At least 25 % of those aged 65 to 74 have curable hearing loss that is bothersome. Age increases this percentage to 50%. A physician will ask you questions about your hearing to see whether it is deteriorating. A baseline audiogram evaluates your hearing at various intensities and pitches. The treatment choices for the majority of cases of hearing loss depend on the nature and severity of the condition.
  3. Bone Density Screening. At age 65, women should start osteoporosis screening with a bone density test. Those with osteoporosis risk factors, including fractures and low body weight, should be examined early.
  4. Immunizations. Not only kids need immunizations. Some immunizations lose effectiveness over time. Age, work, lifestyle, travel, or health issues may increase your risk for vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • The CDC recommends the chickenpox vaccination for adults aged 50 and older.
  • Skin Cancer Screening. If you are in your 60s, your doctor may examine your skin regardless of the purpose of your visit. If you are at high risk for skin cancer, you should get a thorough skin examination every six to twelve months. Talk with your doctor to examine your skin if you have any moles or skin changes that are uncommon.
  • Depression Screening. Depression is the most prevalent mental health issue among older adults and is also associated with self-suffering and distress.Assessment of mental health will likely include a mix of questions, a physical examination, and potentially a written questionnaire. If a doctor determines that there is no physical cause for depression, he or she may recommend a psychological assessment and send you to a mental health specialist, such as a psychologist, for this exam. This examination will aid in establishing a diagnosis and treatment strategy.
  • Fall Assessment. 65-plus individuals often fall. In the US, nearly a third of homebound seniors and half of nursing home residents fall at least once a year. Many variables enhance elderly individuals’ fall risk. Mobility issues, balance abnormalities, chronic diseases, and visual impairments can further increase the risk of falls.
    These tests are only conducted by doctors and include a 30-second stand test, 4-stage balancing test, and time up go test.

    Your fall risk may be minimal, moderate, or severe. They may also identify problem areas (gait, strength, balance). Your doctor may give fall-prevention advice based on your findings.

Health Screening for Women. Pap Smear and HPV after age 70, this medical test is no longer necessary for women who have had three consecutive normal pap smears or no abnormal findings in the last 10 years. However, one should always have a cervical screening test 2 years after their previous Pap test. If the test is normal, you’ll only need it every 5 years.

Recommended Health Screenings  Additional Screenings for Women Additional Screenings for Men
  • Visual Impairment.
  • Hearing tests.
  • Bone density Screening.
  • Immunizations.
  • Skin Cancer Screening.
  • Depression Assessment.
  • Fall Assessment.
  • Same as in the 40s.
  • Additional Osteoporosis screening
  • Same as in the 40s.

It is important to keep in mind that the recommended health checkups for each age group vary according to the changing risk of specific illnesses. For example, osteoporosis screening and fall prevention are not advised for those under the age of 40 due to the minimal risk of falling and osteoporosis. Annual pap smears and mammograms may no longer be effective for those over 75 since they discover early-stage cancer that may never become clinically relevant.

It is essential to discuss any issues, concerns, or questions you may have, as well as any modifications to your past medical history. This history could be very important to the treatment and medical tests that your doctor recommends for you in order to get the most out of your health.

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Aimen

Being a Doctor by profession, Aimen is passionate about helping people get better health in their lives. Aimen enjoys her research on Prime With Time subjects and strives to create better awareness of the problems and changes related to women's health.
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