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Baby-boomers: It’s time for a tune-up

Medical checkup yearly

Treat yourself as well as you treat your car: an annual physical exam is like regular maintenance that will extend your vehicle’s life.

Lipid test (cholesterol and triglycerides) every 5 years

You may need your cholesterol checked more often if your levels are high.

Blood pressure measurement every 1–2 years

Blood sugar test every 3 years

Additional self-checks:

Keep diabetes at bay by exercising, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight.

Body mass index(BMI) yearly

Additional self-checks:

Don’t let your waist size climb near 40 in. (men) or 35 in. (women)—the point of obesity.

Skin cancer screening yearly

Additional self-checks:

Check your skin monthly for changes in moles.

Colon cancer screening

Choose one of the following:

  • FOBT (fecal occult blood test) yearly
  • flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years
  • double contrast barium enema every 5 years
  • colonoscopy every 10 years

Breast cancer screening

  • Mammogram yearly, women only
  • Clinical breast exam yearly, women only
  • Breast MRI yearly, high risk women only

Additional self-checks:

A monthly breast self-exam can alert you to changes in breast tissue or to lumps.

Cervical cancer screening

Pap test every 3 years up to age 65, after three consecutive normal annual tests, women only

After age 65, your doctor may recommend stopping Pap tests if you’re at low risk.

Pelvic exam yearly, women only

Prostate cancer screening, men only

  • Digital rectal exam (DRE) yearly
  • PSA blood test yearly

Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of a PSA test.

Bone density test

Once after age 65 for women or as recommended by your doctor for men and women.

Thyroid hormone test

Women: every 5 years

Men: talk to your doctor

Depression screening as needed

Talk to your doctor if you feel down, depressed or hopeless or have felt little interest or pleasure in doing things for longer than two weeks.

Hearing test as needed

Talk to your doctor if you have to strain to hear others or always increase TV or radio volume.

Vision check

Ages 50–64, every 2–4 years

Ages 65+, yearly

Dental exam once or twice a year

Influenza vaccine yearly

Pneumonia vaccine once after age 65

Tetanus booster every 10 years

Shingles vaccine once at age 60 or older

*Recommendations are for healthy adults, ages 50+. Some guidelines may differ from your doctor’s—he or she will adjust the schedules to best suit you based on your personal risk factors.

Sources: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, National Women’s Health Resource Center, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, National Institute on Aging, American Thyroid Association, National Institutes of Health