At any age, it is important to get regular medical checkups, but from the age of 40, there are some important tests that you should have done to ensure that you are in good health, or to help to pick up on problems before they arise.
Checkup Musts for Everyone
It does not matter whether you are male or female – the following tests should be performed once you turn 40:
- Exercise stress testing – this looks at how the heart performs under exertion and it should be performed once you turn 40, or if you have coronary risk factors.
- Physical cancer exam – this should be performed yearly – ensure that skin cancer checks are included.
- Dental checkups – should also be performed yearly to ensure that teeth are in good condition.
- Height/weight measurements – this should be performed regularly to ensure that the person is in the recommended healthy weight zone and that the person’s weight has not been fluctuating abnormally.
- Blood pressure – should be checked yearly to ensure that hypertension is not occurring.
- Stool sample – this checks for occult blood in the faeces and should be performed every year or two from the age of 40.
- Vision checks – this includes checks for glaucoma and should be performed every one to two years.
- Cholesterol – should be checked at least every three to five years from the age of 40.
- Blood sugar – diabetes often goes undiagnosed so a blood sugar test every three to five years is vital.
- Colonoscopy – this can often wait until a person reaches 50 years of age but people that have a history of colon cancer or other risk factors should have a colonoscopy at the age of 40.
- Vaccinations – at the age of 40, it is important to check that all of your vaccinations are up to date.
Checkup Musts for Women
Females should also have the following tests done:
- Pap smears – should be done every one to two years to check for any cervical changes.
- Mammogram – if a women hasn’t had a mammogram as yet, one should be performed to check for any changes in the breast tissue or to obtain a baseline reading for the purposes of future comparisons.
- FSH test – this can be performed to check if a woman is close to or has already reached menopause.
- Breast exam – an annual breast examination is recommended for women over the age of 40.
- Ultrasound – an ultrasound of the abdomen is useful for women that are over 40 years old in checking for changes to the ovaries.
- Pelvic exam – should be performed annually as this checks for changes in the uterus, vagina, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, bladder and rectum.
Checkup Musts for Men
Males should also ensure that they go for the following tests when they reach the age of 40:
- Prostate exam – this should be done to ensure that there are no abnormalities.
- Testosterone levels – these should be checked annually to ensure that the levels of testosterone in the blood remain normal.