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Manage Your Health

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Health screening - men - age 18 - 39

Definition

All adults should visit their health care provider from time to time, even if they are healthy. The purpose of these visits is to:

  • Screen for diseases
  • Assess risk of future medical problems
  • Encourage a healthy lifestyle
  • Update vaccinations
  • Maintain a relationship with a doctor in case of an illness

Alternative Names

Health maintenance visit - men - age 18 - 39 ; Physical exam - men - age 18 - 39; Yearly exam - men - age 18 - 39; Checkup - men - age 18 - 39; Men’s health - age 18 - 39

Information

Even if you feel fine, it is still important to see your health care provider regularly to check for potential problems. Most people who have high blood pressure don't even know it. The only way to find out is to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Likewise, high blood sugar and high cholesterol levels often do not produce any symptoms until the disease becomes advanced.

There are specific times when you should see your health care provider. Age-specific guidelines are as follows:

  • Blood pressure screening:
    • Have your blood pressure checked every 2 years unless it is 120-139/80-89 Hg or higher. Then have it checked every year.
    • Watch for blood pressure screenings in your area. Ask your health care provider if you can stop in to have your blood pressure checked. Check your blood pressure using the automated machines at local grocery stores and pharmacies.
    • If the top number (systolic number) is greater than 130 or the bottom number (diastolic number) is greater than 85, call your doctor.
    • If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be monitored more closely.
  • Cholesterol screening:
    • Men over age 34 should be checked every 5 years.
    • If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be monitored more closely.
  • Dental exam:
    • Go to the dentist every year for an exam and cleaning.
  • Eye exam:
    • If you have vision problems, have an eye exam every 2 years.
  • Immunizations:
    • After age 19, you should have a tetanus-diphtheria and acellular pertussis (TdAP) vaccine as one of your tetanus-diphtheria vaccines one time. You should have a tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years.
    • Your doctor may recommend other immunizations if you are at high risk for certain conditions such as pneumonia.
  • Men: Testicular exam:
    • Men should do a monthly testicular self-exam.
    • If you are not sure what you should be looking for, contact your health care provider for instruction.
  • Physical exam:
    • You should have two physical exams in your 20s.
    • During the first exam, ask to have your cholesterol checked. Other blood tests are not necessary for healthy young people.
    • Your height and weight should be checked at every exam.

References

Smith RA, Cokkinides V, Brawley OW. Cancer screening in the United States, 2008: a review of current American Cancer Society guidelines and cancer screening issues. CA Cancer J Clin. 2008;58(3):161-179.

Gaziano JM, Manson JE, Ridker PM. Primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 45.

American Diabetes Assocation. Standards of medical care in diabetes -- 2008. Diabetes Care. 2010 Jan;33 Suppl 1:S11-61.


Review Date: 5/20/2010
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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