When (and Why) to Get a Health Screening
There are only so many hours in the day. Staying on top of your health can often fall by the wayside. With the lack of one-size-fits-all guidelines on how often people should visit the doctor, many Americans have no clue when they should get check-ups — and Census information from the last decade showed that doctor visits were on the decline.
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The Trusted Referral Network aims to provide Americans with the knowledge and resources they need to monitor their health properly and has assembled this guide to help you decide when (and why) you should get a health screening.
What Is a Health Screening?
Much like you might take your car in for regular diagnostics to ensure that everything is running smoothly under the hood, a health screening is an opportunity to ensure that there are no underlying issues. Further, as a car gets older and the possibility of major malfunctions increases, these screenings become increasingly regular and important.
The same can be said for us, and understanding the frequency at which you should be getting health screenings can be vital to your overall well-being.
When Do I Need a Health Screening?
Your family history, sex, and overall health will influence the frequency at which you need to get screened, but most recommended health screenings begin at the age of 18 and steadily increase as the years tick on.
Some factors which also influence the regularity of health screenings include:
History of smoking
Changes in overall health
Health Screens for People Aged 18-39:
This age group is when many individuals begin getting regular health screenings and should include things like cholesterol checks (annually beginning at age 35), testicular exams, breast exams, pap smears, and skin screens for atypical moles.
Health Screens for People Aged 40-64:
The above screenings should continue from 40-64, though the frequency of these examinations may change according to individual health needs. In addition to these, individuals aged 40-64 should complete the following screenings:
Mammograms (annually from 40 onward)
Prostate exams (annually from 40 for high-risk individuals, 50 for those not at risk)
Blood sugar levels
Additionally, individuals should complete a colonoscopy every ten years, starting at 45. However, those with family histories of colon cancer should begin screenings ten years before the age of their youngest inflicted family member.
Health Screens for People 65 and Older:
After the age of 65, regular health screenings become increasingly important. All of the above screenings should be completed; however, many individuals in this age group risk losing bone density — and those 65+ should receive bone density screenings every 2-5 years.
Below, we list other recommended screenings for individuals in this age group:
Weight and height become increasingly important to measure, as individuals 65+ are at an increased risk of osteoporosis
Regular pneumonia vaccines are recommended (every five years)
Benefits of Regular Health Screenings
No matter your age, regular health screenings enable you to watch your well-being while catching health issues before they get out of hand. By being proactive and completing regular health screenings like the ones listed above, you can save money by avoiding the costly complications of reactive healthcare.
Ready to get on top of your health with regular screenings? Use the Trusted Referral Network to find the right provider for you, and start making more time for your health and wellness.
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