Stay Healthy at 50
Get the Screenings You Need
Screenings are tests that look for diseases before you have symptoms. You can get some screenings, such as blood pressure readings, in your doctor’s office. Others, such as mammograms, need special equipment, so you may need to go to a different office. After a screening test, it’s important to ask when you will see the results and who you should talk to about them.
- Breast Cancer – Talk with your healthcare team about whether you need a mammogram.
- Cervical Cancer -Have a Pap smear every 1 to 3 years until you are age 65 if you have been sexually active. If you are older than 65 and recent Pap smears were normal, you do not need a Pap smear. If you have had a total hysterectomy for a reason other than cancer, you do not need a Pap smear.
- Osteoporosis (Bone Thinning) – Have a screening test at age 65 to make sure your bones are strong. If you are younger than 65 and at high risk for bone fractures, you should also be screened. Talk with your health care team about your risk for bone fractures.
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – If you are between the ages of 65 and 75 and have ever been a smoker (smoked 100 or more cigarettes in your lifetime), talk to your health care team about being screened for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). AAA is a bulging in your abdominal aorta, the largest artery in your body. An AAA may burst, which can cause dangerous bleeding and death.
- An ultrasound – a painless procedure in which you lie on a table while a technician slides a wand-like medical device over your abdomen, will show whether an aneurysm is present.
For Both Men and Women:
- Colorectal Cancer – Have a screening test for colorectal cancer. Several different tests—for example, a stool blood test and colonoscopy—can detect this cancer. Your health care team can help you decide which is best for you.
- Depression – Your emotional health is as important as your physical health. Talk to your health care team about being screened for depression especially if during the last 2 weeks: You have felt down, sad, or hopeless or You have felt little interest or pleasure in doing things.
- Diabetes – Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medication for high blood pressure. Diabetes (high blood sugar) can cause problems with your heart, brain, eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves, and other body parts.
- High Blood Pressure – Have your blood pressure checked at least every 2 years. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. High blood pressure can cause strokes, heart attacks, kidney and eye problems, and heart failure.
- High Cholesterol – High cholesterol increases your chance of heart disease, stroke, and poor circulation. Have your cholesterol checked regularly if:
- You use tobacco.
- You are obese.
- You have a personal history of heart disease or blocked arteries.
- A male relative in your family had a heart attack before age 50 or a female relative, before age 60.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases – Talk to your health care team about being tested for sexually transmitted diseases.
- Overweight and Obesity – The best way to learn if you are overweight or obese is to find your body mass index (BMI). You can find your BMI by entering your height and weight into a BMI calculator, such as the one available at: www.nhlbisupport. com/bmi. A BMI between 18.5 and 25 indicates a normal weight. Persons with a BMI of 30 or higher may be obese. If you are obese, talk to your health care team about seeking intensive counseling and getting help with changing your behaviors to lose weight. Overweight and obesity can lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Article provided by the Staff of Retirement Connection
taken from: Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality “Stay Healthy at 50+”