5 more preventive health screenings for seniors

When it comes to your health, prevention is the key. As a senior it is important to do the recommended preventive health screenings in order to detect diseases before they show any symptoms. The recommended preventive screenings for you will depend on your age, your gender, lifestyle choices and genetic predisposition. In another article we already shared 5 preventive screenings for older people, so in this article we will give more information about the topic with another list of 5 preventive health screenings for seniors.

 

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  1. Blood pressure tests

      Blood pressure consists in the pressure of blood in your circulatory system and it is related to the force and rate of your heartbeat and the diameter and elasticity of your arterial walls. Having high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, happens when the pressure of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels is too high.

High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease or stroke and it usually shows no symptoms. According to the American Heart association, 103 million adults suffer from hypertension in the U.S and this is the most common cause of cardiovascular disease-related deaths.

Blood pressure tests are recommended for all older adults, both men and women, and it should be done annually. If it results that you have high blood pressure, you will be asked to check it more times to confirm that is consistently high.

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  1. Diabetes screenings

Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body is unable to produce enough insulin or has a reduced response to it. It is estimated that around 65% of people over 65 years in the U.S have diabetes.

Diabetes screenings consist in a blood glucose test that should be done every three years for people up to 70 years or for older adults that have risk factors, like obesity, a family history of diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol levels. After a first test, if results are positive, the doctor will need to confirm it by repeating testing.

  1. Vaccination

     The U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends certain vaccines and boosters of some childhood immunizations. This is an important preventive health screening for seniors because they are at more risk of suffering some diseases due to a weaker immune system or due to suffering multiple conditions.

It is recommended to get influenza (flu) vaccine annually. A dose of Tdap and Td (and Tetanus-diptheria-pertussis and tetanus-diphtheria) is recommended for seniors who didn’t previously receive it and a booster every ten years for all seniors is also recommended. A dose of shingles (herpes zoster) vaccine and a dose of the two types of pneumococcal vaccines are recommended for all seniors.

These recommendations may vary depending on the health condition of the person.

  1. Lung cancer screenings

It is estimated that around two-thirds of patients who die from lung cancer in the U.S. are over 65 years old and 50% of people diagnosed with lung cancer are over 65 years old.

Lung cancer screenings consist of a low-dose computed tomography and it is recommended for all seniors up to 80 years old who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit smoking within the past 15 years. This screening should be done annually.

  1. HIV screening

It may be surprising for some, but the population of seniors that suffer from HIV is increasing every year. This happens because nowadays, people who have HIV are expected to live as long as any other American and because seniors don’t frequently use condoms when having sex.

Although HIV screening is recommended for adults up to 65 years old, it is also recommended for older people at increased risk for HIV infection. This includes homosexual men, people with multiple partners, and people with past or present injection drug use.

The screening is recommended annually and it needs confirmation if results are positive.