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AHRQ Announces Booklet to Help Older Adults Stay Healthy

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality today released a booklet for older adults called The Pocket Guide to Staying Healthy at 50+. This guide incorporates new research-based recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The guide was developed in partnership with AARP and updates the original Staying Healthy at 50+ published in 2000.

"This new guide provides a reference for older Americans so they can make prevention a key part of their retirement plans," Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said. "There are many small steps that all of us can take to improve our health, including appropriate screenings. This guide pulls this information together in a way that Americans can readily use."

"The Pocket Guide to Staying Healthy at 50+ is an important resource for older patients and their providers," said AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy, M.D. "It provides information on which preventive services are needed and when, and it helps open the way for better communication between patients and providers, which leads to better health care."

"This publication is a wonderful resource for AARP members and their families," said William D. Novelli, CEO, AARP. "It's comprehensive, easy to read, and includes information that will empower people 50 and older to take charge of their health."

The Pocket Guide, available in English and Spanish, includes tips and recommendations on good health habits, screening tests, and immunizations. It provides easy-to-use charts to help track personal health information and includes questions to ask health care providers, as well as resources to contact for additional information.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, sponsored by AHRQ, is the leading independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care. The Task Force conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of all of the scientific evidence for a broad range of preventive services, and its recommendations are considered the gold standard for clinical prevention.

This publication is part of the Put Prevention Into Practice program, which is designed to increase the appropriate use of clinical preventive services. PPIP tools such as this booklet enable physicians and other health care providers to determine which services their patients should receive and how best to deliver them. A complete listing of Task Force recommendations and PPIP resources can be found at

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to making life better for people 50 and over. We provide information and resources; engage in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy; assist members in serving their communities; and offer a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for our members. These include AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our quarterly publication for Hispanic members; NRTA Live & Learn for National Retired Teachers Association members; and our Web site, We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The new Pocket Guide to Staying Healthy at 50+ is available on the AHRQ Web site in English at, and in Spanish at Copies of this publication and related materials are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse by calling (800) 358-9295 or sending an e-mail to Clinical information also is available from the National Guideline Clearinghouse at

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