Men: Take Charge of Your Health (It’s Easy)

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Dr. Jared Bieniek
Medical Director
Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Urology and Kidney Institute Men’s Health

Waiting for your car to break down is the wrong time for a tune-up.  Preventive care can keep the engine running efficiently, avoiding headaches and expensive bills.  Unfortunately, many men do not care for their health with the same attention they do their car.

The statistics speak for themselves: Men utilize healthcare services – both preventive and problem-focused – less than women.  As a result, men have a higher incidence of death from most chronic illnesses and live five years less on average than women.

But the paradigm has to shift.  Men must commit to routine preventive care, just like routine car maintenance.  Routine visits enable physicians to detect chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and prostate cancer earlier, making them easier to treat. Scheduling that visit may help you avoid a more serious issue than a headache and expensive bill.  (June is Men’s Health Month, so now is a good time to start.)

To get started, find your age-specific Men’s Health Checklist below.  Each was created based on guidelines from the American Urological Association and other professional organizations to identify opportunities to optimize your health.

Ages 18 to 39

Office visit/exam with primary care physician (Review health status, undergo exam, discuss concerns): Every 2 years*

  • BMI weight-to height ratio: Every 2 years
  • Blood pressure check: Every 2 years
  • Lipids/cholesterol panel (Screen for abnormalities in lipids and/or cholesterol levels): Every 4 years
  • Fasting blood sugar/hemoglobin A1c (Screen for prediabetes or diabetes): Discuss with physician (age 30+)
  • Urinalysis: Screen for urinary abnormalities which may be sign of other diseases: Every 2 years
  • Sexually transmitted diseases: Sexually active adults at risk for STDs should be screened: Discuss with physician
  • Tetanus booster vaccination: Every 10 years
  • Self-examinations: Monthly
    • Testicles: to find lumps in early stages
    • Skin: to look for changing moles or early lesions

*More frequent office visits may be recommended by your PCP based on other health factors.

Ages 40-49

Office visit/exam with primary care physician (Review health status, undergo exam, discuss concerns): Every 2 years*

  • BMI weight-to height ratio: Every 2 years
  • Blood pressure check: Every 2 years
  • Lipids/cholesterol panel (Screen for abnormalities in lipids and/or cholesterol levels): Every 4 years
  • Fasting blood sugar/hemoglobin A1c (Screen for prediabetes or diabetes): Every 3 years
  • Urinalysis: Screen for urinary abnormalities which may be sign of other diseases: Every 2 years
  • Colonoscopy (Flexible scope examines colon for polyps and early cancers): If family history or genetic risk factors
  • PSA blood test (Evaluate for prostate abnormalities, such as infection or cancer): If family history or African American
  • Chest X-ray (Consider yearly if a smoker age 45-plus): Discuss with physician
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (Sexually active adults at risk for STDs should be screened): Discuss with physician
  • Tetanus booster vaccination: Every 10 years
  • Self-examinations: Monthly
    • Testicles: to find lumps in early stages
    • Skin: to look for changing moles or early lesions

*More frequent office visits may be recommended by your PCP based on other health factors.

Ages 50-69

Office visit/exam with primary care physician (Review health status, undergo exam, discuss concerns): Every year

  • BMI weight-to height ratio: Every year
  • Blood pressure check: Every year
  • Lipids/cholesterol panel (Screen for abnormalities in lipids and/or cholesterol levels): Every 4 years
  • Fasting blood sugar/hemoglobin A1c (Screen for prediabetes or diabetes): Every 3 years
  • Urinalysis: Screen for urinary abnormalities which may be sign of other diseases: Every year
  • Rectal exam (Screens for hemorrhoids or anal/prostate abnormalities): Every year
  • Colonoscopy (Flexible scope examines colon for polyps and early cancers): Every 10 years*
  • PSA blood test (Evaluate for prostate abnormalities, such as infection or cancer): Every 1-2 years at age 55 and up
  • Chest X-ray (Consider yearly if a smoker age 45-plus): Discuss with physician
  • Bone mineral density scan (Assess bone health): Discuss with physician
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (Sexually active adults at risk for STDs should be screened): Discuss with physician
  • Tetanus booster vaccination: Every 10 years
  • Self-examinations: Monthly
    • Testicles: to find lumps in early stages.
    • Skin: to look for changing moles or early lesions.

*More frequent office visits may be recommended by your PCP based on other health factors.

 

Age 70 and older

Office visit/exam with primary care physician (Review health status, undergo exam, discuss concerns): Every year.

  • BMI weight-to height ratio: Every year.
  • Blood pressure check: Every year.
  • Lipids/cholesterol panel (Screen for abnormalities in lipids and/or cholesterol levels): Every 4 years.
  • Fasting blood sugar/hemoglobin A1c (Screen for prediabetes or diabetes): Every 3 years.
  • Urinalysis: Screen for urinary abnormalities which may be sign of other diseases: Every year.
  • Colonoscopy (Flexible scope examines colon for polyps and early cancers): Every 10 years.*
  • Chest X-ray (Consider yearly if a smoker age 45-plus): Discuss with physician.
  • Bone mineral density scan (Assess bone health): Discuss with physician.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (Sexually active adults at risk for STDs should be screened): Discuss with physician.
  • Tetanus booster vaccination: Every 10 years.
  • Self-examinations: Monthly.
    • Testicles: to find lumps in early stages.
    • Skin: to look for changing moles or early lesions.

*More frequent office visits may be recommended by your PCP based on other health factors.

Join us in the fight against prostate cancer at the ZERO Prostate Race at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford on Sunday, June 30. For more information on donating, sponsoring, walking, running or even sleeping in support, click here

 


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