Health screening - men age 65 and older
You should visit your health care provider regularly, even if you feel healthy. The purpose of these visits is to:
- Screen for medical issues
- Assess your risk for future medical problems
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle
- Update vaccinations
- Help you get to know your provider in case of an illness
Health maintenance visit - men - over age 65; Physical exam - men - over age 65; Yearly exam - men - over age 65; Checkup - men - over age 65; Men's health - over age 65; Preventive care exam - men - over age 65
Even if you feel fine, you should still see your provider for regular checkups. These visits can help you 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. A simple blood test can check for these conditions.
There are specific times when you should see your provider. Below are screening guidelines for men age 65 and older.
ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM SCREENING
- If you are between ages 65 and 75 and have smoked, you should have an ultrasound to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysms.
- Other men should discuss this screening with their provider.
BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENING
- Have your blood pressure checked every year. If the top number (systolic number) is between 120 and 139 or the bottom number (diastolic number) is between 80 and 89 mm Hg or higher, then continue to have it checked every year.
- If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often, at least once a year.
- Watch for blood pressure screenings in your area. Ask your provider if you can stop in to have your blood pressure checked. You can also check your blood pressure using the automated machines at local grocery stores and pharmacies.
- If the top number is greater than 140, or the bottom number is greater than 90, schedule an appointment with your provider.
CHOLESTEROL SCREENING AND HEART DISEASE PREVENTION
- Your cholesterol should be checked at least every 5 years if levels are normal.
- If you have high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often.
LUNG CANCER SCREENING
The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in adults until age 80 who:
- Have a 30 pack-year smoking history AND
- Currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years
COLON CANCER SCREENING
Until age 75, you should have one of the following screening tests:
- A fecal occult blood test done every year
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, along with a fecal occult blood test
- Colonoscopy every 10 years
You may need a colonoscopy more often if you have risk factors for colon cancer, such as:
- Ulcerative colitis
- A personal or family history of cancer of the colon or rectum
- A history of large growths called adenomas
- If you are age 65 or older and in good health, you should be screened for diabetes every 3 years.
- If you are overweight and have other risk factors for diabetes, ask your provider if you should be screened more often.
- Go to the dentist once or twice every year for an exam and cleaning. Your dentist will evaluate if you have a need for more frequent visits.
- Have an eye exam every 1 to 2 years.
- Have an eye exam at least every year if you have diabetes.
- Have your hearing tested if you have symptoms of hearing loss.
- If you are age 65 or older, get a pneumococcal vaccine if you have never had one, or if 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 vaccine after age 60.
- If you have risk factors for osteoporosis, you should check with your provider about screening. Risk factors can include long-term steroid use, low body weight, smoking, heavy alcohol use, a fracture after age 50, or a family history of osteoporosis.
- Men age 70 and over should consider getting bone mineral density testing.
PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING
- Talk with your provider about prostate cancer screening.
- The potential benefits of PSA testing as a routine screening test have not been shown to outweigh the harms of testing and treatment.
- Prostate examinations are no longer routinely done on men with no symptoms.
- Have a yearly physical exam.
- Your provider will check your weight, height, and body mass index (BMI).
During the exam, your provider will ask you questions about:
- Your medicines and risk for interactions
- Alcohol and tobacco use
- Diet and exercise
- Safety, such as using a seat belt, or smoke alarms
American Dental Association. Questions about going to the dentist. www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/questions-about-going-to-the-dentist. Accessed Jul 24, 2015.
American Gastroenterology Association. AGA institute guidelines for colonoscopy surveillance after cancer resection: clinical decision tool. Gastroenterology. 2014;146(5):1413-1414. PMID: 24742563 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24742563.
American Optometric Association. Comprehensive adult eye and vision examination. Updated February 6, 2015. www.aoa.org/Documents/EBO/Adult%20Eye%20and%20Vision%20Examination%20Guideline%20Peer-Public%20Review%20Document.pdf. Accessed July 24, 2015.
Atkins D, Barton M. The periodic health examination. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 15.
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;30(24):3020-3025. PMID: 22802323 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22802323.
Chamberlain JJ, Rhinehart AS, Shaefer CF Jr, Neuman A. Diagnosis and management of diabetes: synopsis of the 2016 American Diabetes Association standards of medical care in diabetes. Ann Intern Med. 2016;164(8):542-552. PMID: 26928912 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26928912.
Cosman F, de Beur SJ, LeBoff MS, et al. Clinician's guide to prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Osteoporos Int. 2014;25(10):2359-2381. PMID: 25182228 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25182228.
De Paula FJA, Black DM, Rosen CJ. Osteoporosis and bone biology. In: Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, Kronenberg HM, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 29.
Ettehad D, Emdin CA, Kiran A, et al. Blood pressure lowering for prevention of cardiovascular disease and death: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet. 2016;387(10022):957-967. PMID: 26724178 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26724178.
Fihn SD, Blankenship JC, Alexander KP, et al. 2014 ACC/AHA/AATS/PCNA/SCAI/STS focused update of the guideline for the diagnosis and management of patients with stable ischemic heart disease: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines, and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Circulation. 2014;130(19):1749-1767. PMID: 25070666 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25070666.
James PA, Oparil S, Carter BL, et al. 2014 evidence-based guideline for the management of high blood pressure in adults: report from the panel members appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8). JAMA. 2014;311(5):507-520. PMID: 24352797 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24352797.
Kim DK, Bridges CB, Harriman KH; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP); ACIP Adult Immunization Work Group. Advisory Committee on immunization practices recommended immunization schedule for adults aged 19 years or older -- United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65(4):88-90. PMID: 26845417 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26845417.
Meschia JF, Bushnell C, Boden-Albala B, et al. Guidelines for the primary prevention of stroke: a statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2014;45(12):3754-3832. PMID: 25355838 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25355838.
Moyer VA; US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for lung cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2014;160(5):330-338. PMID: 24378917 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24378917.
National Cancer Institute. PDQ prostate cancer screening. (health professional version). Updated March 4, 2016. www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/screening/prostate/HealthProfessional/. Accessed April 13, 2016.
National Cancer Institute. PDQ colorectal cancer screening. Updated January 15, 2016. www.cancer.gov/types/colorectal/hp/colorectal-screening-pdq. Accessed June 13, 2016
National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical practice guidelines in oncology (NCCN guidelines): Colorectal cancer screening. Version 3.2015. www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/colon.pdf. Accessed July 24, 2015.
Provenzale D, Jasperson K, Ahnen DJ, et al. Colorectal cancer screening, Version 1.2015. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2015;13(8):959-968. PMID: 26285241 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26285241.
Ridker PM, Libby P, Buring JE. Risk markers and the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. In: Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 42.
Siu AL; US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for high blood pressure in adults: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2015;163(10):778-786. PMID: 26458123 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26458123.
Stone NJ, Robinson JG, Lichtenstein AH, et al. 2013 ACC/AHA guideline on the treatment of blood cholesterol to reduce atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2014;129(25 Suppl 2):S1-S45. PMID: 24222016 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24222016.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Final update summary: prostate cancer: screening. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryFinal/prostate-cancer-screening?ds=1&s=Prostate. Accessed. July 24, 2015.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for osteoporosis: recommendation statement. Am Fam Physician. 2011;83(10):1197-1200. PMID: 21568254 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21568254.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Draft recommendation statement: statin use for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in adults: preventive medication. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/draft-recommendation-statement175/statin-use-in-adults-preventive-medication1.
Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Internal review and update on 08/05/2016 by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.