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What medical tests do I need at 75?

Prevention Guidelines for Men 65+

Screening tests and vaccines are an important part of managing your health. A screening test is done to find diseases in people who don’t have any symptoms. The goal is to find a disease early so lifestyle changes and checkups can reduce the risk of disease. Or the goal may be to find it early to treat it most effectively. Screening tests are not used to diagnose a disease. But they are used to see if more testing is needed. Health counseling is important, too. Below are guidelines for these, for men ages 65 and older. Talk with your healthcare provider to make sure you’re up to date on what you need.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm

Men ages 65 to 75 who have ever smoked

At routine exams

Yearly checkup if your blood pressure is normal*

Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg*

If your blood pressure is higher than normal, follow the advice of your healthcare provider.

All men at average risk in this age group through age 75 who are in good health. For men ages 76 to 85, talk with your healthcare provider to see if you should continue screening. For men 85 and older, screening is not advised.

Several tests are available and are used at different times.

For tests that find polyps and cancer:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years, or
  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years

For tests that mainly find cancer:

  • Yearly fecal occult blood test, or
  • Yearly fecal immunochemical test, or
  • Stool DNA test every 3 years

You will need a colonoscopy if you choose a different test and have an abnormal test result, Screening advice varies among expert groups. Talk with your healthcare provider about which tests are best for you.

Some people should be screened using a different schedule because of their personal or family health history. Talk with your healthcare provider about your health history.

All men in this age group

At routine exams

Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes

All men starting at age 45 and men without symptoms at any age who are overweight or obese and have 1 or more extra risk factors for diabetes

At least every 3 years (annual testing if your blood sugar has begun to rise)

Type 2 diabetes

All men with prediabetes

Anyone at increased risk for infection

At routine exams

High cholesterol and triglycerides

At least every 5 years

Anyone at increased risk for infection

At routine exams

Adults ages 55 to 80 who have smoked

Yearly screening in smokers with 30 pack-year history of smoking or who quit within 15 years

At routine exams

All men in this age group, talk to healthcare provider about risks and benefits of digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening***

At routine exams

Anyone at increased risk for infection

At routine exams

Anyone at increased risk for infection

Check with your healthcare provider

Every 1 to 2 years. If you have a chronic disease, ask your healthcare provider how often you need an exam.

Aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular events

Men ages 45 to 69 when potential benefits from a decrease in heart attacks outweigh the harm or risks from an increase in gastrointestinal bleeding

When diagnosed with a risk for cardiovascular disease. Check with your healthcare provider before starting

Diet and exercise

Adults who are overweight or obese

When diagnosed and at routine exams

Fall prevention (exercise, vitamin D supplements)

All men in this age group

At routine exams

Sexually transmitted infection prevention

Anyone at increased risk for infection

At routine exams

Tobacco use and tobacco-related disease

Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Td/Tdap) booster

Every 10 years. Tdap is advised if you have contact with a child younger than 12 months. Either Td or Tdap can be used if you have no contact with infants.

All adults ages 65 and older who have no previous infection or vaccine**

2 doses. The second dose should be given at least 4 weeks after the first dose.

Yearly, when the vaccine is available

Haemophilus influenzae type B (HIB)

People at risk, such as travelers

2 doses given at least 6 months apart. These should give long-lasting protection

People at risk, such as travelers and those with chronic liver disease

3 doses; the second dose should be given 1 month after the first dose, and the third dose should be given at least 2 months after the second dose (or at least 4 months after the first dose)

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23)

All adults ages 65 and older

1 dose of each vaccine

All men ages 60 and older

2 doses of the Recombinant Zoster Vaccine (RZV), 2-6 months apart. RZV is advised even for people who have had the live shingles vaccine called Zostavax. There is no live virus in RZV.

*From the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guideline

**There may be exceptions. Talk with your healthcare provider.

***National Comprehensive Cancer Network

If the test is positive, a colonoscopy should be done.

The multiple stool take-home test should be used. One test done by the healthcare provider in the office is not enough for testing. A colonoscopy should be done if the test is positive.

1 From the American Academy of Ophthalmology

Screening guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, except Hepatitis C from CDC

Vaccine schedule from the CDC

What Are the Recommended Medical Tests by Age?

Jacqueline Slobin

There are at least 12 recommended health screenings that you should consider getting at the doctor. The recommended medical tests vary by age depending on what conditions you are at highest risk for, but each typically costs $50 or more, depending on where you go to get tested.

In early 2020, nearly 1 in 4 Americans reported skipping important medical care because of the cost and this number may have increased in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are looking for an affordable way to get routine health screenings, Mira may be a great option for you. For only $45 per month, Mira members get access to low-cost lab tests, including a health panel, lipid panel, STD panel, A1C test, and vitamin D panel.

Health Screenings for Adults

As an adult, there are several screenings that are important to monitor and assess your health status. As you age your become more at risk to develop health issues that could be going undetected, so it’s more important than ever to get the screenings you need. Below we list the health screenings that are recommended to adults and explain what these screenings entail.

When and if you need the following tests will depend on several factors, such as your age, gender, and previous health conditions. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider regarding what tests you should receive.

  • Height and weight: This screening includes taking your height and weight, which can be used to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). Your BMI can be used to assess whether you are at a healthy weight given your height.
  • Blood pressure: Blood pressure is measured by placing a cuff on your upper arm and the results show both your systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Blood pressure is used to test your risk for heart disease.
  • Cholesterol check: Your cholesterol levels can be checked by doing a blood test called a lipid profile. These tests may measure your levels of HDL, LDL, and triglycerides, which can indicate your risk for heart disease.
  • Skin screening: A skin screening is a visual examination of your skin where your doctor may check moles or birthmarks that look unusual in color or shape. A skin screening is done to look for early signs of skin cancer.
  • Diabetes screening: Blood glucose tests, such as the A1C, can be done to analyze the levels of sugar in your blood. Abnormal results can be indicators of prediabetes or diabetes.
  • Blood work: Blood work can include a complete blood count (CBC), thyroid panel, liver enzyme markets, and sexually transmitted disease tests. These tests can be used to assess overall health as well as the function of certain organs.
  • Depression screening: A depression screening is usually a questionnaire that you fill out so your health care provider can assess if you are showing any signs of depression.
  • Pap smear: This test includes taking a sample of cells from the cervix and is done to test for cervical cancer in women.
  • Pelvic exam: Pelvic exams are done on women to assess gynecological health, screen for cysts, sexually transmitted diseases, and cancer.
  • Breast exam: A breast exam is done to check for signs of breast cancer.
  • Mammogram: Mammograms use low-energy x-rays to screen for masses or lumps that may be a sign of breast cancer.
  • Testicular exam: A testicular exam is done to check for early signs of testicular cancer.
  • Prostate exam: A prostate exam may include a digital rectal exam and a prostate-specific antigen test. This test is used to help identify prostate cancer in men.
  • Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy is the examination of the large and small bowel that is used to screen for colorectal cancer and other pre-cancerous polyps.
  • Osteoporosis screening: An osteoporosis screening is a test that uses an ultrasound to examine your bone density. This test is done to screen for osteoporosis, a condition that makes your bones weak.
  • Lung cancer screening: A low-dose CT scan (LDCT) is a non-invasive procedure that may be conducted to screen for early stages of lung cancer.
  • Fall assessment: A fall assessment screening assesses your risk of suffering from a fall. If your risk is high, your health care provider may give you some tips to reduce your chance of falling.

Recommended Medical Tests by Age

Health screenings are recommended depending on your age. Below we outline the general age recommended health screenings based on information from Columbia Doctors Nurse Practitioner Group and Tri-City Medical Center.

Note that this information is not meant to replace medical care. Your doctor or health care provider may have different recommendations for health screenings based on your health status, family history, and pre-existing medical conditions.

Recommended Medical Tests for Patients 18-29 Years Old

Height and weight

Sexually transmitted infections

Yearly Checkups for Seniors

Marian Eure, RN, is a registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in adult health care, health promotion, and health education.

Updated on June 30, 2022

Jenny Sweigard, MD, is a board-certified physician involved in patient care, including general medicine and critical care medicine.

Most of us know we should have an annual checkup, but do we actually do it? If we have one every year, do we actually know if it is complete? And do we understand the tests and examinations we are having done? Most of us will answer «no» to at least one of those questions.

Woman having checkup with doctor

However, there is no excuse for not having a thorough yearly exam. Medicare now covers many of the tests that should be done during your annual checkup.

Routine Tests for All

There are some examinations that everyone should undergo on an annual basis. Depending on the specific markers and symptoms you may be exhibiting, having a year-to-year baseline to compare your numbers to can be of great benefit to getting to the root of any medical problems. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends the following routine tests everyone should undergo:

  • Blood Pressure: Your blood pressure should be checked during every visit to your healthcare provider. Checking it at your yearly checkup will set a baseline.
  • Height: Significant loss of height can indicate the acceleration of osteoporosis. Height is lost as a result of compression of the spinal cord.
  • Weight: Significant weight loss or gain without trying can signify serious health problems. Weight gain can mean fluid retention or perhaps heart, liver, or kidney disease. Weight loss could indicate infection, thyroid problems, or cancer.
  • Blood work: Yearly blood work should include a complete blood count to rule out any bleeding problems, glucose levels to detect diabetes, thyroid function tests to rule out any thyroid disorder, and blood electrolyte counts, which can detect kidney problems and early heart problems. Your healthcare provider may also check some additional labs depending on your personal and family history.
  • EKG: It is recommended that a baseline EKG be done for people around age 50. It should then be done at least every two to three years, or more often if necessary.
  • Fecal occult blood test: This test should also be done yearly. Blood in the stool can be an early indication of colorectal cancer.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy: For the average patient, screening for colon cancer is every five years with flexible sigmoidoscopy, and every 10 years with colonoscopy. It is now recommended that these screenings start at age 45 (previously age 50), but may be more frequent for those at higher risk. There is some question about whether screenings should continue after age 75 to 80.

Yearly screenings, even when you feel healthy, are crucial to assessing your risk for future problems. These screenings can encourage a healthier lifestyle, allows you to build a relationship with your healthcare provider, update any vaccinations, and of course, screen for any health issues you may be having at the moment.

Depending on your sex assigned at birth (male or female), there may be additional tests that you should undergo.

Tests for Women

  • Mammogram: Every woman should discuss their risk factors, and the pros and cons of regular screening mammograms with their healthcare providers. Many experts believe that routine mammograms should begin at age 40. According to the American Cancer Society, women between ages 45 and 54 should have a yearly mammogram, and switch to every other year after age 55. During your annual physical, your healthcare provider should perform a clinical breast exam. Monthly self-breast exams should also be done, and you can be taught this technique during your yearly checkup.
  • Pap smear and pelvic exam: Women should have a yearly gynecological exam along with their annual physical to assess for vaginal cancer or other abnormalities. However, a pap smear screens for cervical cancer, and needs only be done every three years for women ages 21-65. Women should be tested for human papillomavirus (HPV) after the age of 30 as well, which can be done along with the pap smear. Exams should be more frequent for women at a higher risk for cervical or vaginal cancer. Women over the age of 65 can discontinue having pap smears as long as they have had two negative paps and are negative for HPV.
  • Measurement of bone mass: The USPSTF recommends screening for osteoporosis with bone measurement testing (eg. DEXA scan) to prevent osteoporotic fractures in women 65 years and older. For women younger than that, screening may be implicated if there are other risk factors, such as smoking, heavy alcohol intake, taking cortisone-like drugs, or a family history of hip fractures.

Tests for Men

  • Prostate exam: Starting at age 50, a man should be screened for prostate cancer with a digital exam of his prostate. The healthcare provider uses a gloved finger in the rectum to determine if there is any enlargement of the prostate. Enlargement could indicate benign enlargement or even cancer.
  • Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA):Prostate Specific Antigen is a blood test that can indicate prostate cancer. If the level is high, a biopsy of the prostate may be needed. Routine PSA screening is recommended by some healthcare providers, but not by others. Men over the age of 50 should discuss the pros and cons of PSA screening with their healthcare providers.

Addressing Other Health Concerns

At a checkup, you should also review all medications with your healthcare provider, even over-the-counter medications. You should discuss having your vaccinations updated for the flu, tetanus, shingles, COVID-19, and pneumonia.

If you are a diabetic, your healthcare provider should examine your feet and you should have your eyes examined for retinopathy.

Your annual checkup is also the time to discuss any emotional problems you are having. If you feel sad or lack energy, tell your healthcare provider. Your emotional health is just as important as your physical health.

8 Sources

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. A and B recommendations.
  2. Rush University Medical Center. Unexplained weight changes.
  3. Gaddey HL, Holder KK. Unintentional weight loss in older adults. Am Fam Physician. 2021;104(1):34-40.
  4. National Cancer Institute. Fecal occult blood test.
  5. American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society recommendations for the early detection of breast cancer.
  6. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Cervical cancer screening.
  7. American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society recommendations for prostate cancer early detection.
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What vaccinations are recommended for you?

By Marian Anne Eure
Marian Eure, RN, is a registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in adult health care, health promotion, and health education.

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