What type of tests/checkup is required for preventive health care?
There are a number of tests required for routine medical examination. Some of these are listed below:
Type of Test
|Blood pressure check up||All adults||Annual||More frequent monitoring for those with BP of 135/85 or higher.|
|Cholesterol check||All adults||Annual after 30 years and more often if high LDL or low HDL or other risk factors||Obese and those with family history of heart disease may require more frequently.|
|Fasting blood glucose test||All above 40 and earlier for those at high risk||Annual||After age 30 for those with family history of diabetics.|
|Dental Examination||All adults||Every 6 months or as advised||Cleaning and screening for oral cancer also required.|
|Tetanus Diphtheria booster||All adults||Every 10 years||More regularly for aged above 50|
|Hepatitis vaccine||All adults||As advised by physician||All newborns should be vaccinated|
|Chickenpox vaccine||All who have never had chickenpox||Once. But 2 shots are required for those above 13 years of age||Pregnant women should avoid.|
|Pap smear ( for early detection of cervical cancer)||All women over 18 & earlier if sexually active||Once every 3 years if earlier 3 annual tests are normal & more often for smokers and having multiple sex partners||May stop after 60 years of age|
|Breast cancer screening (mammography)||All women above 45 years||Annual||Self examination and clinical breast examination is also important|
|Colorectal cancer screening Fecal matter blood test, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscop||All 45 years age and above: earlier for those at high risk||Blood test annually, Sigmoidoscopy every 3-4 years and colonoscopy every 7-8 years or as advised by your physician||X-Ray with barium enema may also be done.|
|Thyroid disease screening||Women 50 years & above. Those with high cholesterol and family history of thyroid disease.||As advised by your physician or every 2-3 years||Ask your doctor about risk factors|
|Glaucoma screening||Diabetics and with family history of diabetics, Aged over 50, very nearsighted and suffering from sleep apnea||Bi-annual or as advised by your physician||Preferably all adults over 35 years of age|
|Chalmydia screening||Women 25 and younger, if sexually active||Annual or more often||Men & women of any age who are sexually active and at risk for sexually transmitted diseases.|
|Prostate cancer screening (prostate specific antigen)or PSA test and rectal exam||Those with family history after 40 years of age and others after 50||Rectal exam annually & PSA on doctors advice||PSA screening only on advice.|
|Influenza vaccine||All aged 50 and above & those suffering from Lung/ heart disease or cancer||Annual||Even healthy younger adults should take it|
|Pneumococcal Vaccine||All aged 60 and above & others under high risk for complications||At least once||Lasts 5-10 years against most types of Pneumococcal pneumonia|
|Rubella Vaccine||All women of child bearing age||Once||Not to be taken during pregnancy|
There are other important preventive measures not listed above-the kind of commonsense steps that could prevent injury, illness, disability, and premature death. Here’s a checklist:
- Don’t smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Get regular exercise. Brisk walking for just half an hour every day can be a big factor in weight control and in staying healthy.
- Choose a diet low in animal fat and sodium, and rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or nonfat dairy products.
- Keep alcohol consumption moderate: no more than one drink daily for a woman, two drinks for a man. If you are a heavy drinker, seek counseling, and cut back or quit.
- Do self-exams of your breasts or testes, as well as skin.
- Fasten seat belts, see that kids ride in proper restraints, and obey the law. Drive sober and defensively.
- Brush and floss to prevent dental disease.
Someday may be genetic altering may improve immunity levels for disease but until then it is sensible to take adequate care and precautions.
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