What medical tests should women have?

Tina Bray, MSN
Administration
Women often underestimate the value of a yearly blood pressure check. In this video, Tina Bray, RN, chief nursing officer at Regional Medical Center of San Jose, goes over other preventive tests women should have, and when.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
The following is a checklist of medical tests for women that should be done yearly, unless otherwise indicated:

At age fifteen, you should get the following:
  • Blood pressure measurement (yearly, or more frequently)
  • A dental exam yearly and teeth cleaning every six months or as indicated
At age 21, you should get the following:
  • Pap test every one to three years
  • LDL (low-density lipoprotein), also known as bad cholesterol, level, if you are at higher risk for heart disease (otherwise it can wait until age 45) (you want it to be less than 100 mg/dl) every five years
  • HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, also known as good cholesterol, level (you want it to be higher than 45 mg/dl) every five years
  • Fasting triglyceride level (you want it less than 100) every five years
At age twenty-five, you should also get the following tested:
  • C-reactive protein, an indicator of inflammation in the body (you want to test "normal") every five years
  • A screen for diabetes (if you are overweight)
At age thirty, you should continue the tests above and, in addition, get the following:
  • A screen for thyroid disease
  • A test for diabetes
At age forty, you should continue the tests above and, in addition, get the following:
  • A mammogram (and yearly thereafter)
  • A hemoccult, a test for occult (hidden) blood in the feces
  • An eye examination and every three years till age 60, then yearly
At age fifty, you should continue the tests above and, in addition, get the following:
  • A colonoscopy (to rule out colon cancer) and every three to five years thereafter
  • A bone density test
At age sixty, you should continue the tests above and, in addition, get the following:<
  • Tests for memory
  • A screen for thyroid disease

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.