In fact, according to doctors at El Camino Health they are 70% less likely. One reason may be that they aren’t aware of what checkups they need and when. Here is a list of recommended health and wellness checks that men should get and when:
- Infectious Disease Screening: Men should be tested and screened for sexual diseases according to their lifestyles. The CDC encourages all men to test for HPV, HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis at least once in their lifetimes. Men with multiple partners, or sexually active gay or bi-sexual men are at higher risk, and should be screened more frequently, including annual chlamydia and gonorrhea testing.
- Blood Pressure: All adult men should have their blood pressure checked once a year. You can have it checked at a doctor’s office or even at automated machines found at local grocery stores and pharmacies.
- Cholesterol and Heart Disease Prevention: Men age 35 and older should be screened every five years. Risk factors, such as diabetes, warrant earlier and more frequent screenings, beginning as early as age 20.
- Immunizations: Annual flu shot and a tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years.
- Prostate Cancer: The most common cancer among men in the U.S., prostate cancer affects one in seven men, according to the American Cancer Society. The screening age and frequency depends on risk factors, but the experts at El Camino Health recommend starting by age 55.
- Colon Cancer: Another common cancer among older men, a fecal occult blood test should be performed annually, a sigmoidoscopy every five years, and a colonoscopy every 10 years (or more often if you are at a higher risk) starting at age 50.
- Diabetes: After age 45, all men should be tested for diabetes every three years. Men who are overweight, have high blood pressure or other risk factors need more frequent screening.
- Immunizations: Shingles or herpes zoster vaccine at age 60
- Osteoporosis: By age 65 most men are losing bone mass at the same rate as women. A bone mineral density test is recommended by age 70, or earlier if there’s a family history or prior bone fractures.
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: Men ages 65-75, particularly if they’ve ever smoked, are at risk for an aortic aneurysm which could rupture and cause massive internal bleeding. An ultrasound can detect an enlarged aorta so it can be monitored or treated before it becomes life-threatening.
- Immunizations: Pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccination
Of course, an annual physical is the best way for men to keep up to date on their health. Set up an appointment with a primary care physician, find one here. For more sensitive men's health issues, El Camino Hospital's Men’s Health Program offers a personal and confidential environment.
This article first appeared in the March 2017 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.