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Most men like to take charge and be in control. That is until it comes to their health. When is the last time you had a check-up? Do you know your PSA or your blood pressure? While some men dread going to the doctor, being proactive always pays off. Below are the top screenings recommended for men, starting around the age of 35, unless otherwise noted.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA): If you’re between ages 65 and 75 and have smoked more than 100 cigarettes in your lifetime (even if you quit years ago) new guidelines call for an AAA ultrasound screening.
Blood glucose: High blood glucose indicates diabetes. But it’s the prediabetes phase (100-126) that requires a closer look. That’s when changes can prevent or delay diabetes from happening. Get checked if you have a history of high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Blood pressure: High blood pressure is called a silent killer. Regular screenings can help you intervene before it gets too high (140 over 90) and requires treatment. Make sure to check blood pressure every two years, or annually if your numbers are historically high or you’re over 65.
Body mass index (BMI): Your BMI helps determine your body fat ratio by calculating a number based upon your height and weight. A healthy BMI is under 25, but numbers can vary depending on muscle mass in some people. This number can indicate risk for developing obesity-related diseases. After smoking, obesity is the number two cause of preventable death. It raises your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and more.
Cholesterol: High levels are a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. After age 20, a complete cholesterol screening should be done every 5 years. Have it checked more often if your LDL levels are high, your HDL levels are below 40, or you’re over 45.
Colon cancer: Talk to your doctor about a colorectal cancer screening starting at age 50; earlier if you’re at high risk because of family history and certain medical conditions. Screening options include colonoscopy, fecal occult blood testing, fecal immunochemical test, flexible sigmoidoscopy, double contrast barium enema and CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy).
Depression: Depression is very common and underdiagnosed, but is treatable with counseling and medication.
Prostate cancer: At age 50, talk with your doctor about tests including a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, which is used to detect a protein that produces cancer cells, and digital rectal exams (DRE), which are used to detect abnormalities in the prostate—your doctor will insert a lubricated finger through the rectum to feel the prostate. These tests are most effective when done together, and men over the age of 50 should be offered these exams annually.
It’s time to make your health a priority. Here are five steps to better health.
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