Essential Health Screenings for Every Age

by Melissa Chichester

Routine medical tests are necessary to maintain your health and wellness for a lifetime.

Have you ever wondered at what age you need to start getting essential health screenings? Many test recommendations are based on your age or family history. These tests are designed to encourage early detection and empower you to take charge of your own health. In addition, these tests help you set up healthy habits that last a lifetime. Let’s take a look at what tests you might need to catch up on. 

Age 20-30

Medical tests by age vary by gender. Tests recommended (by the US National Library of Medicine) for all people between the ages of 20 and 30 include: 

  • Cholesterol test: Recommended if you have a family history of heart disease/high cholesterol, are obese, have high blood pressure, smoke, or have diabetes
  • Blood pressure: Every two years 
  • Diabetes screening is you have risk factors, such as being overweight or obese
  • Dental exam: Twice per year 
  • Eye exam: Every two years or more frequently if you have vision problems

For women:

  • Pap smear and pelvic exam: every three years if results are normal

For men: 

  • Men should have a testicular exam during their regular physical

Men and women should also screen their skin for abnormalities and consult a dermatologist if there are any concerns. 

Many of the tests needed in your younger years continue regularly throughout the rest of your life, including standard dental care, eye care, blood pressure screenings, cholesterol screenings, and individual tests for men and women.

people in their thirties on a roller coaster having fun

Age 30-40

Medical test recommendations while approaching middle age are similar to young adult life, but with a little more frequency. Regular screenings for sexually transmitted diseases and infections should continue, in addition to regular dental care, eye care, and blood pressure checks. 

Specific tests to begin in your thirties include:

  • Lipid profile: A lipid profile blood test measures the total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL and LDL levels in your body to monitor heart health. For those with normal readings, testing is usually done every two years. 
  • ECG tests are usually recommended after age 35 to monitor heart health. 

Age 40-60

After age 40, more medical testing is generally recommended depending on your health. It is truly incredible what today’s physicians can discover with routine tests. Many people feel scared to have these tests done; however, they are designed to help you live a long and fruitful life. Common tests after age 40 include:

  • Mammograms for women typically start at age 40
  • Diabetes screenings are recommended every three years after age 45
  • A visit to the dermatologist is recommended every year after age 40
  • Depression screenings are more frequently recommended after age 40 due to hormonal shifts that occur with age
  • A colonoscopy is recommended after age 50 
  • For smokers, lung cancer screenings are recommended at age 55 and up
  • Men ages 50 and older usually begin prostate cancer screenings

Age 65 and older 

To no surprise, medical tests often become more frequent after age 65. Some of the medical tests recommended after age 65 include:

  • Bone mineral density tests to check for osteoporosis is recommended for women at age 65 and men at age 75 
  • Hearing tests 
  • Aneurysm screenings are recommended for men who have ever been smokers

No matter what age you are, it is important to get a physical every year and work with a healthcare practitioner to determine what tests are right for you. Your health is personal, and by learning what tests you might need, you can further take charge of your body and well-being!