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Health screening - men age 65 and older


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

Alternative Names

Health maintenance visit - men - over age 65; Physical exam - men - over age 65; Yearly exam - men - over age 65; Checkup - men - over age 65; Men's health - over age 65; Preventive care exam - men - over age 65


Even if you feel fine, you should still see your health care provider for regular checkups. These visits can help you 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. A simple blood test can check for these conditions.

There are specific times when you should see your provider. Below are screening guidelines for men age 65 and older.


  • If you are between ages 65 and 75 and have smoked, you should have an ultrasound to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysms.
  • Other men should discuss this screening with their provider.


  • Have your blood pressure checked every 2 years. If 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, have it checked every year.
  • Watch for blood pressure screenings in your area. 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 be checked more often.


  • Your cholesterol should be checked at least every 5 years if levels are normal.
  • If you have high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often.


The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in adults until age 80 who:

  • Have a 30 pack-year smoking history AND
  • Currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years


Until age 75, you should have one of the following screening tests:

  • A fecal occult blood test done every year
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, along with a fecal occult blood test
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years

You may need a colonoscopy more often if you have risk factors for colon cancer, such as:

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • A personal or family history of cancer of the colon or rectum
  • A history of large growths called adenomas


  • If you are age 65 or older and in good health, you should be screened for diabetes every 3 years.
  • If you are overweight and have other risk factors for diabetes, ask your doctor if you should be screened more often.


  • 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.


  • Have an eye exam every 1 to 2 years.


  • Have your hearing tested if you have symptoms of hearing loss.


  • If you are age 65 or older, get a pneumococcal vaccine if you have never had one, or if it has been more than 5 years since you had the vaccine.
  • You should get a flu shot each year.
  • Get a tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years.
  • You may get a shingles or herpes zoster vaccine after age 60.


  • If you have risk factors for osteoporosis, you should check with your provider about screening. Risk factors can include long-term steroid use, low body weight, smoking, heavy alcohol use, a fracture after age 50, or a family history of osteoporosis.
  • Men age 70 and over should consider getting bone mineral density testing.


  • Talk with your provider about prostate cancer screening.
  • The potential benefits of PSA testing as a routine screening test have not been shown to outweigh the harms of testing and treatment.
  • Prostate examinations are no longer routinely done on men with no symptoms.


  • Have a yearly physical exam.
  • Your provider will check your weight, height, and body mass index (BMI).

During the exam, your provider will ask you questions about:

  • Your medicines and risk of interactions
  • Alcohol and tobacco use
  • Diet and exercise
  • Safety, such as using a seat belt, or smoke alarms
  • Depression


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

American Dental Association. Questions about going to the dentist. Available at: Accessed Jul 24, 2015.

American Gastroenterology Association. AGA institute guidelines for colonoscopy surveillance after cancer resection: clinical decision tool. Gastroenterology. 2014 May;146(5):1413-4. PubMed PMID: 24742563

American Optometric Association. Comprehensive adult eye and vision examination. February 6, 2015. Accessed July 24, 2015.

American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. PSA testing for the pretreatment staging and posttreatment management of prostate cancer: 2013 Revision of 2009 Best Practice Statement. Linthicum, MD: American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. 2013. Available at: 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.

Basch E, Oliver TK, Vickers A, et al. Screening for prostate cancer with prostate-specific antigen testing: American Society of Clinical Oncology provisional clinical opinion. J Clin Oncol. 2012 Aug 20;30(24):3020-5. PMID: 22802323

Cosman F, de Beur SJ, LeBoff MS, et al. Clinician's Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis. Osteoporos Int. 2014 Oct;25(10):2359-81. PMID: 25182228

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

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

Levin B, Lieberman DA, McFarland B, Smith RA, Brooks D, Andrews KS, et al. Screening and surveillance for the early detection of colorectal cancer and adenomatous polyps, 2008: A joint guideline from the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, and the American College of Radiology. CA Cancer J Clin. 2008;58:130-160. PMID: 18384785

Meschia JF, Bushnell C, Boden-Albala B et al. Guidelines for the primary prevention of stroke: a statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2014 Dec;45(12):3754-832. PMID: 25355838

National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines): Colorectal cancer screening. Version 3.2015. Available at: Accessed July 24, 2015.

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

Rex DK, Johnson DA, Anderson JC, Schoenfeld PS, Burke CA, Inadomi JM; American College of Gastroenterology. American College of Gastroenterology guidelines for colorectal cancer screening 2009 [corrected]. Am J Gastroenterol. 2009;104:739-50. PMID: 19240699

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 lung cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Moyer VA; U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med. 2014 Mar 4;160(5):330-8. PMID:24378917

Screening for Prostate Cancer. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Web site. Available at: Accessed July 24, 2015.

Standards of medical care in diabetes--2015: summary of revisions. Diabetes Care. 2015 Jan;38 Suppl:S4. PMID: 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

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for osteoporosis: recommendation statement. Am Fam Physician. 2011;83:1197-200. PMID: 21568254

Whitlock EP, Lin J, Liles E, Beil T, Fu R, O'Connor E, Thompson RN, Cardenas T. Screening for Colorectal Cancer: An Updated Systematic Review [Internet]. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2008 Oct. PMID: 20722162

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Review Date:5/22/2015
Reviewed By:Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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