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The Health Screenings You Need at 50+

Here’s what medical experts recommend, based on your gender and age

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Depending on your lifestyle and health, a doctor may recommend some or all of the following tests as well.

Alcohol Misuse Screening

What is it?
A single- or multiple-question test to assess alcohol use with the goal of helping individuals who drink excessively to reduce their consumption to safer levels   

When to get it?
No official recommendation

Depression Screening

What is it?
A two-question screening that asks: "During the past two weeks, have you felt down or hopeless?" "Have you had little interest in doing things you enjoy?"    

When to get it?
If you’ve been experiencing depression symptoms for two or more weeks

Diabetes Screening

What is it?    
The fasting plasma glucose test is a blood test administered after eight hours of fasting and measures blood sugar levels.   

When to get it?
Screen once every three years if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medications for high blood pressure.

Hepatitis C

What is it?
A one-time blood test for the hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C causes serious liver diseases, including liver cancer

When to get it?
In August 2012 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all individuals born between 1945 and 1965 be tested, noting that many boomers are infected with the virus but don't know it and don't perceive themselves to be at risk.

HIV/Chlamydia/Syphilis/Gonorrhea Screening

What is it?    
Tests to detect antibodies indicating exposure to these sexually transmitted

When to get it?
If you have had unprotected sex with multiple partners or have a new partner; have a history of sexually transmitted infections; use or have used injection drugs; or had a blood transfusion between 1978 and 1985. Speak with your doctor about your risk for these diseases and how frequently you should be screened.

Obesity Screening

What is it?    
Your body mass index (BMI) is a formula that calculates your body fat (and obesity risk) based on your weight and height.   

When to get it?    
There's no official recommendation, but the best way to know whether you are overweight or obese is to calculate your BMI, either online or by asking your doctor. Doing so once per calendar year is a good idea.

Tobacco Use Screening

What is it?   
Doctors ask patients about their tobacco use and provide interventions for those who use tobacco products.    

When to get it?
Screen at every doctor's visit.

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