Screenings can help detect conditions early, when they’re easier to treat. Here’s why it’s important for seniors to stay on track.
As you age, the risk for chronic disease increases. The National Institutes of Health recommends the following screenings for adults age 65 and older:
- Blood pressure – Having your blood pressure checked at least once every year and keeping it under control can prevent heart disease.
- Breast cancer – Women ages 65 and older account for almost 50% of new breast cancer cases, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Screening mammograms are recommended at least every two years starting at age 55.
- Cholesterol – “High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke,” said Savitri Ramdial, MD, primary care and geriatric medicine physician at the Medical Group of Mitchell County. “We recommend having a cholesterol screening at least every five years, or more often if you have high cholesterol or other health problems.”
- Colorectal cancer – Two-thirds of new colorectal cancer cases occur in people ages 65 and older, according to the AAFP. Regular colonoscopies can prevent and even eliminate this cancer.
- Diabetes – 25% of Americans ages 65 and older have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Get screened for diabetes every three years or more often if you have risk factors for the disease.
- Osteoporosis – “This disease is a major concern for women, but it also affects a significant number of men,” Dr. Ramdial said. “Women older than age 64 should have a bone density scan, and men should ask their physician if it’s appropriate for them.”
Schedule an appointment with a geriatric medicine specialist at the Medical Group of Mitchell County by calling 229.384.6895.