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Health screening - men - ages 18 to 39

You should visit your health care provider regularly, even if you feel healthy. The purpose of these visits is to:

  • Screen for medical issues
  • Assess your risk of future medical problems
  • Encourage a healthy lifestyle
  • Update vaccinations
  • Help you get to know your provider in case of an illness

Information

Even if you feel fine, you should still see your health care provider for regular checkups. These visits can avoid problems in the future. For example, the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked regularly. High blood sugar and high cholesterol levels also may not have any symptoms in the early stages.

There are specific times when you should see your provider. Below are screening guidelines for men ages 18 to 39.

BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENING

  • Have your blood pressure checked every 2 years unless is the top number (systolic number) is between 120 and 139 or the bottom number (diastolic number) is between 80 and 89 mm Hg or higher. Then have it checked every year.
  • Watch for blood pressure screenings in your neighborhood or workplace. Ask your provider if you can stop in to have your blood pressure checked. Or check your blood pressure using the automated machines at local grocery stores and pharmacies.
  • If the top number is greater than 140, or the bottom number is greater than 90, schedule an appointment with your provider.
  • If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to have your blood pressure checked more often.

CHOLESTEROL SCREENING AND HEART DISEASE PREVENTION

  • Men over age 35 and older should be checked every 5 years.
  • If you have risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, start getting screened earlier, at age 20.
  • If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often.

DIABETES SCREENING

  • If your blood pressure is above 135/80 mm Hg, your provider may test your blood sugar level for diabetes.
  • If you have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 and have other risk factors for diabetes, you should be screened. Having a BMI over 25 means that you are overweight. Asian Americans should be screened if their BMI is greater than 23.

DENTAL EXAM

  • Go to the dentist once or twice every year for an exam and cleaning. Your dentist will evaluate if you have a need for more frequent visits.

EYE EXAM

  • If you have vision problems, have an eye exam every 2 years or more often if recommended by your provider.

IMMUNIZATIONS

  • After age 19, you should have a tetanus-diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine once as part of your tetanus-diphtheria vaccines. You should have a tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years.
  • You should get a flu shot each year.
  • You should get the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine series if you have not already had it.
  • You should receive 2 doses of varicella vaccine if you were born after 1980 and never had chickenpox or the varicella vaccine.
  • If you were born after 1956 your doctor will determine if you should receive at least one dose of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
  • Your doctor may recommend other immunizations if you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes.

INFECTIOUS DISEASE SCREENING

  • Depending on your lifestyle and medical history, you may need to be screened for infections such as syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV, as well as other infections.

PHYSICAL EXAM

  • Your blood pressure should be checked at least every two years.
  • Your height, weight, and BMI should be checked at every exam.

During your exam, your provider may ask you about:

  • Depression
  • Diet and exercise
  • Alcohol and tobacco use
  • Safety, such as use of seat belts and smoke detectors

TESTICULAR EXAM

  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends against performing testicular self-exam. Doing testicular exams has been shown to have little to no benefit.

Alternative Names

Health maintenance visit - men - ages 18 to 39; Physical exam - men - ages 18 to 39; Yearly exam - men - ages 18 to 39; Checkup - men - ages 18 to 39; Men's health - ages 18 to 39; Preventive care exam - men - ages 18 to 39

References

Advisory committee on immunization practices recommended immunization schedule for adults aged 19 years or older--United States, 2015. Kim DK, Bridges CB, Harriman KH; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP); ACIP Adult Immunization Work Group. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Feb 6;64(4):91-2. PMID: 25654609 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25654609.

American Dental Association. Questions about going to the dentist. Available at: www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/questions-about-going-to-the-dentist. Accessed Jul 24, 2015.

American Optometric Association. Comprehensive adult eye and vision examination. February 6, 2015. Available at: www.aoa.org/Documents/EBO/Adult%20Eye%20and%20Vision%20Examination%20Guideline%20Peer-Public%20Review%20Document.pdf. Accessed July 24, 2015.

Atkins D, Barton M. The periodic health examination. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 15.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Assessing immunity to varicella. Available at: www.cdc.gov/chickenpox/hcp/immunity.html. Accessed July 24, 2015

Greenland P, Alpert JS, Beller GA, Benjamin EJ, Budoff MJ, Fayad ZA, et al. 2010 ACCF/AHA guideline for assessment of cardiovascular risk in asymptomatic adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2010;122(25):e584-e636. PMID: 21098428 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21098428.

Handler J, et al. 2014 evidence-based guideline for the management of high blood pressure in adults: report from the panel members appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8). JAMA. 2014 Feb 5;311(5):507-20. PMID: 24352797 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24352797.

Helfand M, Carson S. Screening for Lipid Disorders in Adults: Selective Update of 2001 US Preventive Services Task Force Review. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2008 Jun. PMID: 20722146 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20722146.

Peterson ED, Gaziano JM, Greenland P. Recommendations for treating hypertension: what are the right goals and purposes? JAMA. 2014 Feb 5;311(5):474-6. PMID: 24352710 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24352710.

Ridker PM, Libby P, Burning JE. Risk Markers and the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. In: Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 42.

Screening for Prostate Cancer. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Web site. Available at www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryFinal/prostate-cancer-screening?ds=1&s=Prostate. Accessed July 24, 2015

Screening for Testicular Cancer. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Web site. Available at www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryFinal/testicular-cancer-screening?ds=1&s=testicular. Accessed July 25, 2014.

Standards of medical care in diabetes--2015: summary of revisions. Diabetes Care. 2015 Jan;38 Suppl:S4. PMID: 25537706 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25537706.

Stone NJ, Robinson J, Lichtenstein AH, Bairey Merz N,  Blum CB, et al. 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults. Circulation. 2014 Jun 24;129(25 Suppl 2):S1-S45. PMID: 24222016 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24222016.

Update Date 5/22/2015

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