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The Vital Milestones: Top Preventive Screenings for Every Decade

Apr 22, 2024

As we journey through life, certain milestones mark our path. Reaching the pivotal ages of 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70 prompts us to prioritize our health through preventive screenings. Here's a guide to the top health screenings that can safeguard your well-being at each milestone.

Early vigilance in your 30s

“Thirty is a great age to start prioritizing your health if you don’t already,” said Gerald Orlando, D.O., primary care physician at Inspira Primary Care Clarksboro. “At this point, your risk starts increasing for health concerns like high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and you start experiencing some symptoms of aging.”

Regular check-ups with your health care provider should include:

  • Blood pressure checks to detect early signs of hypertension
  • Cholesterol level testing to assess heart health and the risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • Annual skin exams to detect any irregularities or suspicious moles, which is crucial for early skin cancer detection

Added focus in your 40s

“Many people typically associate their 40s with the start of routine screenings such as mammograms and colonoscopies,” said Dr. Orlando. “These screenings are important for early cancer detection.”

Talk to your health care provider about:

  • Mammograms, recommended yearly starting at age 40, to screen for breast cancer
  • Colonoscopies every 10 years to screen for colon cancer starting at age 45 for people of average risk 
  • Diabetes screening every three years for adults over 45, even if you have no known risk factors, since the risk for type 2 diabetes increases with age

Heightened attention in your 50s

As you enter your 50s, certain health screenings gain greater significance:

  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests and digital rectal exams (DREs) to screen for prostate cancer
  • Regular eye check-ups to detect any age-related eye problems like glaucoma or macular degeneration as your risk increases with age, especially after 50

Comprehensive care in your 60s

Upon turning 60, additional screenings further contribute to maintaining good health:

  • Bone density screening for postmenopausal people around age 65 to detect osteoporosis unless you have risk factors and started routine screening at an early age
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening, starting at age 65, for smokers or those with a family history of cardiovascular disease
  • Thyroid function tests to screen for thyroid disorders, which become more prevalent with age 
  • Shingles vaccine for people 50 to 60 years or older
  • Pneumonia vaccine for people 65 or older

“In addition to routine screenings, other tests become more important in your 60s, including hearing tests, depression screenings and cognitive screenings to test for neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Orlando

Sustained wellness in your 70s 

At 70 and beyond, continued vigilance in health screenings is crucial. “In your 70s, you should continue osteoporosis screenings, cognitive function tests, vitamin D tests, hearing and eye exams and regular dental check-ups,” said Dr. Orlando.

As we navigate the journey of life, prioritizing health through timely screenings is pivotal. Always consult your health care provider to determine the most appropriate screenings based on your individual health history and risk factors. Remember, preventive care is a cornerstone in nurturing a healthier and more fulfilling life at every milestone.

Your primary care provider can help determine which screenings are most appropriate for you based on your family and personal medical history. Find a provider here.

Topics: Primary Care