Health Screenings and Immunizations

Recommended Screenings For Men 50+

(Except where indicated, this information is drawn from Men Stay Healthy at 50+, developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.)

Here is an alphabetical list of recommended health screening tests for men 50+. Read the list below and/or watch the video on the right. (To enlarge the video, click the brackets in the lower right-hand corner. To reduce the video, press the Escape (Esc) button on your keyboard.)

Following each description below, there is a link you can click on for more information about that screening. After reading the content at that link, click your computer’s back button to return to this page and continue reading about other screenings.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

If you are between the ages of 65 and 75 and have ever been a smoker (smoked 100 or more cigarettes in your lifetime), talk to your health care team about being screened for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). AAA is a bulging in your abdominal aorta, your largest artery. An AAA may burst, which can cause dangerous bleeding and death.

An ultrasound, a painless procedure in which you lie on a table while a technician slides a medical device over your abdomen, will show whether an aneurysm is present. Learn more about how an abdominal ultrasound is performed.

Colon Cancer

If you are 75 or younger, get a screening test for colorectal cancer. Several different tests -- for example, a stool test or a colonoscopy -- can detect this cancer. Your doctor or nurse can help you decide which is best for you. If you are between the ages of 76 and 85, talk to your doctor or nurse about whether you should continue to be screened. See the different types of colon cancer screenings. Watch a video on 4 types of colon cancer tests.

Depression

Your emotional health is as important as your physical health. Talk to your health care team about being screened for depression, especially if during the last 2 weeks:

  • You have felt down, sad, or hopeless.
  • You have felt little interest or pleasure in doing things.

Learn more about depression and older adults.

Diabetes

Ask your doctor if you should be screened for diabetes (high blood sugar). Diabetes can cause problems with your heart, brain, eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves, and other body parts. See what testing for diabetes involves.

Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)

Get screened one time for HCV infection if

  • you were born between 1945 and 1965
  • you have ever injected drugs
  • you received a blood transfusion before 1992.

If you currently are an injection drug user, you should be screened regularly. Find out what a hepatitis C test involves.

High Blood Cholesterol

Have your blood cholesterol checked regularly with a blood test. High blood cholesterol increases your chance of heart disease, stroke, and poor circulation. See what a test for high blood cholesterol involves.

High Blood Pressure

Have your blood pressure checked at least every 2 years. High blood pressure can cause strokes, heart attacks, kidney and eye problems, and heart failure. Learn how blood pressure is tested.

HIV

If you are 65 or younger, get screened for HIV. If you are older than 65, ask your doctor or nurse if you should be screened. Find out about the different types of HIV tests.

Lung Cancer

Talk to your doctor or nurse about getting screened for lung cancer if you are between the ages of 55 and 80, have a 30 pack-year smoking history, and smoke now or have quit within the past 15 years. (Your pack-year history is the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day times the number of years you have smoked.) Know that quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health.

Lung cancer can be detected with low-dose computed tomography (LCT). For LCT, you lie on a table while a large machine passes over you to scan your lungs. See what screening tests there are for lung cancer.

Overweight and Obesity

The best way to learn if you are overweight or obese is to find your body mass index (BMI). You can find your BMI by entering your height and weight into a BMI calculator, such as the one available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/BMI/bmicalc.htm

A BMI between 18.5 and 25 indicates a normal weight. Persons with a BMI of 30 or higher may be obese. If you are obese, talk to your doctor or nurse about getting intensive counseling and help with changing your behaviors to lose weight. Overweight and obesity can lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Vision Disorders

If you are age 60 or older, you should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. If you are at increased risk for or have any age-related eye disease, you may need to see your eye care professional more often. Learn what a comprehensive dilated eye exam involves. (National Eye Institute)

Other Tests To Ask About

You know your body better than anyone else. Always tell your doctor or nurse about any changes in your health. Ask them about being checked for any condition you are concerned about, not just the ones here. If you are wondering about Alzheimer's disease or skin cancer, for example, ask about them.