Preventing chronic diseases through routine care is important at any age, and especially as patients reach their middle-age milestones and beyond.
Individuals who make healthy lifestyle choices and follow screening guidelines can increase the likelihood of living well into their later years.
While not all health screening procedures prevent disease, regular colonoscopies can detect the risk of colorectal cancer, and actually prevent it from occurring.
EvergreenHealth recommends that adults at average risk for colorectal cancer begin screening procedures—which can identify and remove precancerous polyps—at age 50 and continue based on your results and risk category.
Mammograms are the gold standard for early detection of breast cancer.
EvergreenHealth follows the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s guidelines that recommend all women receive clinical breast exams beginning at age 30 and annual screening mammograms beginning at age 40.
Women over age 40 don’t need a written referral from their provider for a screening mammogram—you can schedule an appointment with the Breast Health Center directly. In some cases, women under 40 may need to obtain a written order from their health care provider to be eligible for insurance coverage.
Changing guidelines for cervical cancer screening have recently caused confusion about how often women should schedule a Pap smear.
Pap smears help to detect precancerous changes in ones body and help prevent cancer from developing.
Our OB/GYNs believe women do not need an annual Pap smear and should instead follow the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) guidelines to schedule one every three years.
If you have high blood pressure, ask your doctor if you need to be screened for type 2 diabetes.
Blood screening and lipid panel testing can help you gauge your progress towards living your healthiest best—and most importantly, prevent chronic disorders like diabetes and heart disease, or progressively worse outcomes like hypertension and hyperlipidemia.
Work with your provider to benchmark and check your levels across several important health-risk indicators.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
18.5 - 24.9 – Normal
25 - 29.9 – Overweight
30+ – Obesity risk
A normal range is typically less than 120/80 mm Hg
For those without diabetes, target an A1C below 5.7%
Optimal levels for adults:
Total cholesterol is less than 200 mg/dL
LDL (bad) cholesterol is less than 100 mg/dL
HDL (good) cholesterol is 60 mg/dL and higher
You never outgrow the need for vaccines.
The specific immunizations you need as an adult are determined by factors such as your age, lifestyle, high-risk conditions, type and locations of travel, and previous immunizations.
Some adults incorrectly assume that the vaccines they received as children will protect them for the rest of their lives. Generally this is true, except that:
Here is the CDC's recommended vaccination schedule: