New Year, New You: Schedule Health Screenings, Checkups

Get out your phone and open your online calendar or break out your paper planner for 2019 to make appointments for your good health.

Depending on your age and gender, you’ll want to make time for the right doctor visits and health screenings to put your most healthy foot forward in the new year.

Vaccinations and tests that apply to everyone

Although health concerns and specific tests vary with gender and age, Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health plans, notes the following advice applies to everyone 18 and older:

  • Get an annual flu vaccine
  • Every 10 years, renew your tetanus-diphtheria vaccination. Once in a lifetime, everyone 11 and older should get a tetanus-diphtheria (Td) booster that contains pertussis (Tdap)
  • Have an HIV test once in your adult life

Special baby boomer advice

Anyone born from 1945 to 1965 should be tested once during their adulthood for hepatitis C. Baby boomers are five times more likely to have hepatitis C than other adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer, but most people with hepatitis C live with it unknowingly for decades. New treatments have a nearly 100 percent cure rate.

Depending on your health and personal risk factors, your preventive care schedule may differ from the following recommendations, especially if you have a chronic disease, obesity, or a family history of a disease.

Kaiser Permanente recommends the following health schedules for doctor visits, screenings, and other immunizations.

Women

Ages 18-21

  • Annual well visit
  • First Pap test for sexually active women starting at 21
  • Annual chlamydia test for sexually active women through age 24

Ages 22-49

  • Well visit once every four years
  • Pap test every three years through age 29. Move to every five years at 30 with a test that includes HPV screening
  • Annual chlamydia test for sexually active women through age 24
  • Discuss the risks and benefits of starting mammograms before 50
  • Cholesterol test every five years, beginning at 40
  • Blood pressure check every two years

Ages 50-64

  • Well visit once every two years
  • Shingles vaccine for 50 and older
  • Cholesterol check every five years
  • Blood pressure check every two years
  • Colon cancer screening
  • Pap test every five years with a test that includes HPV screening
  • Mammogram every one to two years, based on risk factors for breast cancer
  • A one-time abdominal aortic aneurysm screening for women 55-75 with a family history of AAA and who smoked 100 cigarettes or more in their lifetime

Ages 65 and older

  • Annual well visit
  • Pneumococcal vaccine
  • Shingles vaccine for 50 and older
  • Cholesterol check every five years through 75
  • Annual blood pressure check
  • Annual vision and hearing checks
  • Colon cancer screening. Regular screening generally isn’t recommended for women 75 and older
  • Mammogram every one to two years, based on risk for breast cancer. Women who are 75 and older should discuss optional screening with a doctor
  • Bone-density test for 65 and older
  • A one-time abdominal aortic aneurysm screening for women 55-75 with a family history of AAA and who smoked 100 cigarettes or more in their lifetime

Men

Ages 18-21

  • Annual well visit

Ages 22-49

  • Well visit once every four years
  • Cholesterol test every five years, beginning at 40
  • Blood pressure check every two years

Ages 50-64

  • Well visit every two years
  • Shingles vaccine for 50 and older
  • Cholesterol test every five years
  • Blood pressure check every two years
  • Colon cancer screening
  • Discuss prostate cancer screening with a doctor
  • A one-time abdominal aortic aneurysm screening for men 55-64 with a family history of AAA and who smoked 100 cigarettes or more in their lifetime

Ages 65 and older

  • Annual well visit
  • Pneumococcal vaccine
  • Shingles vaccine for 50 and older
  • Cholesterol check every five years through age 75
  • Annual vision and hearing checks
  • Annual blood pressure check
  • Colon cancer screening. Regular screening isn’t generally recommended for men 75 and older
  • Discuss prostate cancer screening with a doctor
  • A one-time abdominal aortic aneurysm screening for men 65 and older with a family history of AAA and who smoked 100 cigarettes or more in their lifetime