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Preventative Screenings Guidelines and what you should know, when.

Guidelines for preventatives screenings and what you should know, when.

Preventive screenings are an essential part of maintaining good health and catching potential health issues early, when they are often more treatable. These screenings are typically recommended based on factors such as age, sex, family history, and individual risk factors.

Health screenings recommendations are also designed to help individuals promote preventive care and maintain overall well-being throughout different stages of life. Certain screenings are recommended at specific ages and by gender. For example, mammograms for breast cancer screening are typically recommended for women starting in their 40s or 50s, depending on guidelines and individual risk factors. Prostate cancer screenings (such as the PSA blood test) are typically considered for men starting around age 50, but this can vary based on individual risk factors and discussions with a healthcare provider.

Lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, exercise, and alcohol consumption can also influence your screening recommendations. For example, smokers may be advised to undergo lung cancer screenings, and those with unhealthy diets may need more frequent cholesterol checks. A family history of certain health conditions, such as cancer or heart disease, can also impact your screening recommendations. Be sure to inform your healthcare provider about your family's health history.

Some screenings are aimed at identifying chronic conditions early. For instance, blood pressure checks, cholesterol tests, and blood glucose tests can help detect conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Also, some screenings are often overlooked by patients; regular eye exams and hearing tests are important, especially for older adults, in detecting conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, and hearing loss. Mental health screenings are essential for identifying and addressing mental health conditions early like depression, anxiety, and substance use.

The American Academy of Family Practitioners (AAFP) bases its screening recommendations on the systematic and detailed analyses of scientific research compiled by the United State Preventative Services Task Force. Here are some general guidelines for health screenings that are often recommended based on age:

Screenings recommended by the AAFP for all ages throughout the lifetime

· Blood pressure checks

· Cholesterol and lipid profile testing

· Diabetes screening if at risk

· Vision and regular dental exams

· Immunizations and boosters, both for adults and children/adolescents

· Skin examinations for skin cancer

· For women: pelvic exams on symptomatic women, cervical screening, and clinical breast examinations are recommended every 1 - 3 three years in patients 20 - 66 years of age

· Depression and mental health screening

· Substance use screening, for example Opioid Use Disorder screening

· Sexually Transmitted Disease (STDs) screening for those who are sexually active

· Screening for Hepatitis B virus infection for adults and adolescents with an increased risk

· Screening for Hepatitis C one time for all adults ages 18 - 79

· Screening for HIV one time for all people ages 15 to 65

Additional screening in your 40s

· Cervical cancer screening

· Prostate cancer screening for men

· Bone density testing if at risk for osteoporosis

· Cardiovascular risk assessments

Additional screening in your 50s

· Mammograms for women every year from ages 50 to 69

· Liver function

· Kidney function

· Lipid profiles for heart disease risk assessment

· Colorectal cancer screening every 5 to 10 years starting around age 45

· Fecal occult blood testing annually

· Shingles and flu vaccines

· Lung cancer screening if there is a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within past 15 years.

Additional screening in your 60s, 70s, and beyond

· Continue all screenings listed above including blood, cholesterol, diabetes, hearing and vision, STDs, vaccines, bone density, cancer screenings (breast, cervical, prostate, colorectal, skin, and others if at risk), and liver and kidney function screenings.

· Osteoporosis screening

· Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening for men 65 to 75 years of age

It's important to note that these are general guidelines, and individual recommendations may vary. Additionally, guidelines may change over time as new research and medical advancements emerge. We recommend you consult with your primary care physician to discuss your specific health history and screenings recommended based on your age group and risk factors.

At Carta Health, we are working toward making a difference in people’s lives. Our goal is to ensure people have the latest healthcare information to feel empowered and take charge of their own health. Visit www.carta.health or contact Carta at info@carta.health to learn more about our active involvement in providing state-of-the-art health screening services in the comfort of your home.

Reference: The American Academy of Family Practitioners

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