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Health Exam Guidelines

Beginning at Age 20
It is recommended that you have a medical exam, including a complete lipid profile, every three to five years between the ages of 20 and 40.  After age 40, a medical exam once a year (adding a vision check) is recommended.  Consult with your physician about your individual maintenance schedule for medical exams as well as for the tests and screenings listed here.  If you have a personal or family history of diseases such as heart or lung, osteoporosis, cancer or diabetes, consult with your physician about the screening schedule that is “right” for you. Some guidelines may not be widely accepted; your physician can best decide which exams and tests are appropriate for you.

Procedure How Often
Blood pressure reading Once a year
Breast self-exam Once a month (women)
Colorectal cancer screening Varies according to your personal and family history. Stool occult blood test each year after 50.
Dental check up Once every six months
Eye exam Once between 20 and 29. Twice between 30 and 39. After 40, every 1 to 2 years (especially if there is a history of serious eye injury or family history of glaucoma). After 65, complete eye exam to screen for cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. Those with diabetes, complete eye exam each year.
Hearing test Every 2 to 5 years after 65
Height/weight As part of medical exam
Influenza vaccine Yearly in October through December if older than 65 or at high risk due to chronic diseases such as diabetes.
Mammogram Once between 35 and 40; every year after 40 (women)
Pap smear/clinical breast exam Once a year (women)
Pneumonia vaccine If otherwise healthy, once at 65. A repeat immunization may be necessary in 5 to 10 years. May be recommended for younger people in some cases.
PSA Once a year after 50 (men)
Rectal exam (digital) Once a year after 40
Testicular self-exam Once a month (men)
Tetanus booster Once every 10 years
Tuberculosis skin test As part of medical exam