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Health by the Decade

Health By the Decades

It’s never too early or too late to improve your health. Below are guidelines to help keep you on track for each decade of your life. 

In Your 20s

Find out what makes you feel happy, healthy and strong.

General Health

  • Full checkup — Including weight and height; find a primary care physician you like and get checked out once a year
  • Sleep habits — Discuss at your annual exam
  • Thyroid (TSH) test — Talk with your doctor about whether you need this screening
  • HIV screening — Get tested if you are at risk for HIV

Heart Health

  • Blood pressure check— Every two years
  • Baseline cholesterol panel — Total, LDL, HDL and triglycerides

Diabetes

  • Blood glucose or A1C test — Recommended if you have sustained blood pressure greater than 135/80, take medicine for high blood pressure or are at risk for developing diabetes

Breast Health

  • Breast self-exam — Examine your breasts monthly so you can identify any changes
  • Clinical breast exam — Every 3 years

Reproductive Health

  • Pap test —Every three years
  • Pelvic exam — Annually, beginning at age 21
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STI) tests — You and your partner should get tested for STIs before initiating sexual intercourse; get tested for chlamydia annually until age 24 if sexually active; after age 25, get tested if you have new or multiple partners

Mental Health

  • Discuss with your doctor

Eye, Ear and Dental Health

  • Comprehensive eye exam — Talk with your doctor
  • Hearing test — Every 10 years
  • Dental cleaning and exam— Every 12-24 months

Skin Health

  • Skin exam — Examine your skin and moles monthly as part of a routine checkup with your doctor

Immunizations

  • Seasonal influenza vaccine — Annually
  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster vaccine — Every 10 years
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine — Up to age 26; if your vaccine series is incomplete, talk with your doctor
  • Meningococcal vaccine — Discuss with your doctor if you are a college student or military recruit

In Your 30s

General Health

  • Get an annual checkup.
    • Blood glucose or A1C test, if at risk for diabetes
    • Blood pressure test
    • Cholesterol panel
    • HIV screening, if at risk
    • Thyroid (TSH) test
  • Examine your moles and birthmarks monthly for any changes.

Breast Health

  • Examine your breasts at home.
  • Get a clinical breast exam (at least every 3 years).

Eye, Ear and Dental Health

  • Have your hearing tested (every 10 years).
  • Schedule an eye exam, if needed.
  • See your dentist (every 1-2 years).

Mental Health

  • Share concerns with your doctor immediately.

Recommended Immunizations

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)vaccine
  • Meningococcal vaccine
  • Seasonal influenza (flu)vaccine (annually)
  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap) booster vaccine (every 10 years)

Reproductive Health

  • See your doctor for a pelvic exam (annually).
  • Have a Pap test (at least every 3 years).
  • Get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), if at risk.

In Your 40s

General Health

  • Get an annual checkup.
    • Blood glucose or A1C test, if at risk for diabetes
    • Blood pressure test
    • Cholesterol panel
    • Hepatitis C (HCV) screening (one time only; if born between 1945-1965)
    • HIV screening, if at risk
    • Thyroid (TSH) test
  • Examine your moles and birthmarks monthly for any changes.

Breast Health

  • Examine your breasts at home.
  • Get a clinical breast exam (annually).
  • Have a mammogram (every 1-2 years).

Eye, Ear and Dental Health

  • Have your hearing tested (every 10 years).
  • Schedule an eye exam (baseline at 40, then every 2-4 years).
  • See your dentist (every 1-2 years).

Mental Health

  • Share concerns with your doctor immediately.

Recommended Immunizations

  • Seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine (annually)
  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap) booster vaccine (every 10 years)

Reproductive Health

  • See your doctor for a pelvic exam (annually).
  • Have a Pap test (at least every 3 years).
  • Get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), if at risk.

In Your 50s

General Health

  • Get an annual checkup.
    • Blood glucose or A1C test, if at risk for diabetes
    • Blood pressure test
    • Bone density screening
    • Cholesterol panel
    • Hepatitis C (HCV) screening (one time only; if born between 1945-1965)
    • HIV screening, if at risk
    • Thyroid (TSH) test
  • Examine your moles and birthmarks monthly for any changes.

Breast Health

  • Examine your breasts at home.
  • Get a clinical breast exam (annually).
  • Have a mammogram (every 1-2 years).

Colorectal Health

  • Screening options:
    • Colonoscopy
    • Fecal occult blood test
    • Flexible sigmoidoscopy

Eye, Ear and Dental Health

  • Have your hearing tested (every 10 years).
  • Schedule an eye exam (every 1-2 years).
  • See your dentist (every 1-2 years).

Mental Health

  • Share concerns with your doctor immediately.

Recommended Immunizations

  • Seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine (annually)
  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap) booster vaccine (every 10 years)

Reproductive Health

  • See your doctor for a pelvic exam (annually).
  • Have a Pap test, if needed.
  • Get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), if at risk.

In Your 60s

General health

  • Get an annual checkup.
    • Blood glucose or A1C test, if at risk for diabetes
    • Blood pressure test
    • Bone mineral test
    • Cholesterol panel
    • Hepatitis C (HCV) screening (one time only; if born between 1945-1965)
    • HIV screening, if at risk
    • Thyroid (TSH) test
  • Examine your moles and birthmarks monthly for any changes.

Breast Health

  • Examine your breasts at home.
  • Get a clinical breast exam (annually).
  • Have a mammogram (every 1-2 years).

Colorectal Health

  • Screening options:
    • Colonoscopy
    • Fecal occult blood test
    • Flexible sigmoidoscopy

Eye, Ear and Dental Health

  • Have your hearing tested (every 3 years).
  • Schedule an eye exam (every 1-2 years).
  • See your dentist (every 1-2 years).

Mental Health

  • Share concerns with your doctor immediately.

Recommended Immunizations

  • Herpes zoster vaccine
  • Pneumococcal vaccine
  • Seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine (annually)
  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap) booster vaccine (every 10 years)

Reproductive Health

  • See your doctor for a pelvic exam (annually).
  • Have a Pap test, if needed.
  • Get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), if at risk.

In Your 70s

General health

  • Get an annual checkup.
    • Blood glucose or A1C test, if at risk for diabetes
    • Blood pressure test
    • Bone mineral test
    • Cholesterol panel
    • HIV screening, if at risk
    • Thyroid (TSH) test
  • Examine your moles and birthmarks monthly for any changes.

Breast Health

  • Examine your breasts at home.
  • Get a clinical breast exam (annually).
  • Have a mammogram (every 1-2 years until age 74)

Colorectal Health

  • Screening options:
    • Colonoscopy
    • Fecal occult blood test
    • Flexible sigmoidoscopy

Eye, Ear and Dental Health

  • Have your hearing tested (every 3 years).
  • Schedule an eye exam (every 1-2 years).
  • See your dentist (every 1-2 years).

Mental Health

  • Share concerns with your doctor immediately.

Recommended Immunizations

  • Herpes zoster vaccine
  • Pneumococcal vaccine
  • Seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine (annually)
  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap) booster vaccine (every 10 years)

Reproductive Health

  • See your doctor for a pelvic exam (annually).
  • Have a Pap test, if needed.
  • Get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), if at risk.

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