AARP Health offers information on many diverse health subjects such as the following advice on screening tests: What You Need and When.
Health experts from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force have made these recommendations, based on scientific evidence, about which screening tests you need and when to get them.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. If you are between the ages of 65 and 75 and have ever been a smoker, talk with your doctor about being screened.
Colorectal Cancer. Have a test for colorectal cancer. Your doctor can help you decide which test is right for you.
Depression. Your emotional health is as important as your physical health. If you have felt "down," sad, or hopeless over the last 2 weeks or have felt little interest or pleasure in doing things, you may be depressed. Talk to your doctor about being screened for depression.
Diabetes. Have a blood test for diabetes if you have high blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure. Have your blood pressure checked at least every 2 years.High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher.
High Cholesterol. Have your cholesterol checked regularly.
HIV. Talk with your doctor about HIV screening if any of these apply:
- You have had sex with men since 1975.
- You have had unprotected sex with multiple partners.
- You have used or now use injection drugs.
- You exchange sex for money or drugs or have sex partners who do.
- You have past or present sex partners who are HIV-infected, are bisexual, or use injection drugs.
- You are being treated for sexually transmitted diseases.
- You had a blood transfusion between 1978 and 1985
Obesity. Have your body mass index (BMI) calculated to screen for obesity. (BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.) You can find your own BMI with the BMI calculator from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/.
Sexually Transmitted Infections. Talk to your doctor about being tested for sexually transmitted infections.
A Note on Other Conditions. Every body is different. Always feel free to ask your doctor about being checked for any condition, not just the ones above. If you are worried about diseases such as glaucoma, prostate cancer, or skin cancer, for example, ask your doctor. And always tell your doctor about any changes in your health, including your vision and hearing.
AARP health provides free information and resources to help resolve problems for its members