Health Guidelines

Stay on top of your health

Preventative care can help keep you in good health. It’s important to follow these guidelines throughout your lifetime to help detect and prevent disease. The following health guidelines are a minimum for healthy adults.

NOTE: These recommendations for care do not replace the judgment of you or your healthcare provider. Preventive Healthcare Guidelines are intended for people who are at low risk for developing disease and have no disease symptoms. If you have certain risk factors or symptoms, you may need to have some tests more frequently than guidelines specify. Discuss with your physician what is best for you.

Adult Preventative Care

  • Tetanus vaccination: Every 10 years
  • Annual influenza vaccination: Recommended for those with chronic health conditions too
  • Weight Screening: Record height, weight and body mass index (BMI) yearly
  • Alcohol Screening: If you use alcohol, talk to your provider about your drinking habits and how they may affect your health
  • Pneumococcal vaccination: If immunized before age 65 or at high risk, talk to your provider

Blood Pressure

  • All ages: Those who do not have a history of high blood pressure should have it checked annually.

Cholesterol and Lipid Screening

  • Fasting lipid screening for women over age 44, every five years
  • Fasting lipid screening for men over age 34, every five years

Colon Cancer Screening

  • Start screening at age 50. If African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, start at age 45. Repeat screening at intervals determined by type of screening test used.

Depression Screening

  • Age 18: Annual screen for depression.

Tobacco Cessation

  • If you use tobacco products, talk to your provider about options to help you quit. For staying healthy, quitting the use of any tobacco product is the best step you can take.

Human Papillomavirus

  • All preteens need the HPV vaccination so they can be protected from HPV infections that cause cancer.
  • Teens and young adults who didn’t start or finish the HPV vacinne series also need HPV vaccination.
  • Young women can get HPV vaccine until they are 27 years old.
  • Young men can get the HPV caccine until they are 22 years old.

Women

Breast Cancer Screening

  • Age 40: Screening mammogram and an annual physical breast exam every 1-2 years.

Cervical Cancer Screening

  • Beginning at age 21, every 3 years
  • Stop screening at age 65-70 if adequate screening was carried out in the preceding 10 years

Chlamydia Screening

  • Yearly for sexually active women age 25 and younger
  • For women over 25 with a new sexual partner, talk to your provider

Osteoporosis Screening

  • Ages 50-70: Discuss with your healthcare provider.

Men

Prostate Cancer Screening

  • Starting at age 50, discussion every 1-2 years.

Disease Management

If you have an ongoing condition, it is important to pay extra attention to assure that monitoring and treatment are as effective as possible. Your provider will be happy to discuss these guidelines with you.

Asthma

  • Annual asthma-focused visit and lung function test as needed.

Cardiovascular Disease

  • Office visit and blood pressure check 2 times per year
  • Maintain a blood pressure of 139/89 or less
  • Annual blood test to check your cholesterol
  • Statin therapy is recommended for all patients age 21-75 with cardiovascular disease (unless non-medicated LDL “bad cholesterol” is less than 40)
  • Discuss tobacco usage with your provider
  • Discuss aspirin or anti-platelet therapy with your doctor

High Blood Pressure

  • Office visit and blood pressure check 2 times per year
  • Maintain a blood pressure of 139/89 or less
  • Blood test to check your cholesterol and electrolyte level if you have other risk factors such as family history of heart disease

Diabetes

  • Office visit and a blood test to check your HgbA1c every 6 months
  • Maintain an HgbA1c level of 7.9 percent or less
  • Annual blood test to check your cholesterol level
  • Statin therapy is recommended for patients with diabetes age 40-75 (unless non-medicated LDL “bad cholesterol” is less than 70). Patients with diabetes age 21-39 should be on a statin if LDL is greater than 190
  • Annual urine exam to check for protein (and thus kidney function)
  • Annual dilated eye exam for blood vessel changes related to diabetes
  • Blood pressure check 2 times per year
  • Maintain a blood pressure of 139/89 or less
  • Annual foot exam by your provider