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Men: Stay Healthy at Any Age
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Provided by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

What can you do to stay healthy and prevent disease? You can get certain screening tests, take preventive medicine if you need it and practice healthy behaviors.

Top health experts from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggest that when you go for your next checkup, you should talk to your doctor or nurse about how you can stay healthy no matter what your age is.

The most important things you can do to stay healthy are:

  • Get recommended screening tests.
  • Be tobacco-free.
  • Be physically active.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Take preventive medicines if you need them.

Screening Tests for Men: What You Need and When

Screening tests can find diseases early when they are easier to treat. Health experts from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force have made recommendations, based on scientific evidence, about testing for the conditions below. Talk to your doctor about which ones apply to you, and when and how often you should be tested.

  • Obesity: Have your body mass index (BMI) calculated to screen for obesity. (BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.)
  • High Cholesterol: Have your cholesterol checked regularly starting at age 35. If you are younger than 35, talk to your doctor about whether to have your cholesterol checked if:
    • You have diabetes.
    • You have high blood pressure.
    • Heart disease runs in your family.
    • You smoke.
  • High Blood Pressure:Have a test for colorectal cancer starting at age 50. Your doctor can help you decide which test is right for you. If you
  • Colorectal Cancer: Have a test for colorectal cancer starting at age 50. Your doctor can help you decide which test is right for you. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you may need to be screened earlier.
  • Diabetes: Have a test for diabetes if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
  • Depression: Your emotional health is as important as your physical health. If you have felt "down," sad, or hopeless over the last two weeks or have felt little interest or pleasure in doing things, you may be depressed. Talk to your doctor about being screened for depression.
  • Abdominal-Aortic Aneurysm: If you are between the ages of 65 and 75 and have ever smoked (100 or more cigarettes during your lifetime), you need to be screened once for abdominal-aortic aneurysm, which is an abnormally large or swollen blood vessel in your abdomen.

Daily Steps to Health

  • Don't Smoke: If you do smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting. Your doctor or nurse can help you, and you can also help yourself.
  • Be Physically Active: Walking briskly, mowing the lawn, dancing, swimming and bicycling are just a few examples of moderate physical activity. If you are not already physically active, start small and work up to 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity most days of the week.
  • Eat a Healthy Diet: Emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts. Eat foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.
  • Stay at a Healthy Weight: Balance calories from foods and beverages with calories you burn off by your activities. To prevent gradual weight gain over time, make small decreases in food and beverage calories, and increase physical activity.
  • Drink Alcohol Only in Moderation: If you drink alcohol, have no more than two drinks a day. (A standard drink is one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.)

Should You Take Medicines to Prevent Disease?

  • Aspirin: Ask your doctor about taking aspirin to prevent heart disease if you are older than 45 or if you are younger than 45 and:
    • You have high blood pressure.
    • You have high cholesterol.
    • You have diabetes.
    • You smoke.
  • Immunizations: Stay up-to-date with your immunizations by:
    • Having a flu shot every year, starting at age 50. If you are younger than 50, ask your doctor whether you need a flu shot.
    • Having a pneumonia shot once after you turn 65. If you are younger, ask your doctor whether or not you need a pneumonia shot.

Screening-Test Checklist

Take this checklist with you to your doctor's office. Write down when you have any of the tests below. Talk to your doctor about your test results and write them down here. Ask when you should have the test next. Write down the month and year. If you think of questions for the doctor, write them down and bring them to your next visit.

Test Last Test
(mo/yr)
Results Next Test Due
(mo/yr)
Questions for the Doctor
Weight
(BMI)
       
Cholesterol
Total:
       
HDL
(Good):
       
LDL
(Bad):
       
Blood
Pressure
       
Colorectal
Cancer
       
Diabetes        
Abdominal-Aortic Aneurysm (One-Time Test)        

The information in this fact sheet is based on research findings from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The USPSTF is the leading independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care. The Task Force, which is supported by AHRQ, conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling, and preventive medications. Its recommendations are considered the gold standard for clinical preventive services.

Put Prevention Into Practice (PPIP), part of the AHRQ Dissemination and Implementation Program, is designed to increase the appropriate use of clinical preventive services, such as screening tests, preventive medications, and counseling. Based on the recommendations of the USPSTF and Government agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Put Prevention Into Practice tools and resources help clinicians determine which preventive services their patients should receive. They make it easier for patients to participate in, understand and keep track of their preventive care.

U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesAgency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Internet Citation:
Men: Stay Healthy at Any Age – Your Checklist for Health. AHRQ Publication No. 07-IP006-A, February 2007. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

Enjoy this article? Learn more at www.ahrq.gov.

Important Sam’s Club Disclaimer: All content, including but not limited to, recipe and health information provided is for educational purposes only. Such content is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the diagnosis, treatment and advice of a medical professional. Such content does not cover all possible side effects of any new or different health program. Consult your medical professional for guidance before changing or undertaking a new diet or exercise program. Advance consultation with your physician is particularly important if you are under eighteen (18) years old, pregnant, nursing or have health problems.

All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author, publisher nor Triad Digital Media, LLC d/b/a Triad Retail Media warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.

© 2012 Triad Digital Media, LLC d/b/a Triad Retail Media All rights reserved. All articles are written and edited by professionals and reviewed for accuracy by appropriate experts. Neither Triad Digital Media, LLC d/b/a Triad Retail Media nor its publisher make any representations as to the accuracy or efficacy of the information provided. Special written permission is required to reproduce in any manner, in whole or in part.

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