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 for future problems, encourage a healthy life style and build a relationship with your care provider. However, men are less likely than women to get routine physical exams and screenings. Even more alarming: 30 percent said they “wait as long as possible” to seek medical attention when feeling sick or in pain. Screening means testing for diseases and conditions that may not yet be causing symptoms and is pivotal in diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

Health screenings for men ages 18 to 39

Blood pressure:

  • Have your blood pressure checked at least once 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, then have it checked every year.

Cholesterol:

  • Recommended ages for cholesterol screening are between 20 and 35 for men. Men with normal cholesterol levels do not need to have the test repeated for 5 years.

STDs:

  • If you’re sexually active, get screened at least once a year for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. And all men should get tested for HIV at least once.

Physical Exam:

  • Your blood pressure should be checked at least every 1 to 2 years.
  • Your height, weight, and BMI should be checked at every exam.

Diabetes:

  • If your blood pressure is 140/80mm Hg or higher, your provider may test your blood sugar level for diabetes.
  • If you have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 and have other risk factors for diabetes, you should be screened. Having a BMI over 25 means that you are overweight. 

Health screenings for men ages 40 to 64

Blood pressure:

  • Have your blood pressure checked at least once a year. If the top number (systolic number) is between 120 to 139 mm Hg or the bottom number (diastolic number) is between 80 to 89 mm Hg, then continue to have it checked every year.

Cholesterol:

  • Your cholesterol should be checked every 5 years.
  • If you have a high cholesterol level, diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often.

Diabetes:

  • If you are age 45 or older, you should be screened every 3 years.
  • If your blood pressure is above 140/80 mm Hg, your provider may test your blood sugar level for diabetes.

Colorectal cancer:

  • At age 45, talk to your doctor about when to begin screening for colon cancer; most people can start screening at age 50.
  • A colonoscopy is recommended every 10 years.
  • A stool test is recommended every year.

Physical Exam:

  • Your blood pressure should be checked every year.
  • Your height, weight, and BMI should be checked at every exam.

Prostate Cancer:

  • Most men age 50 or older should discuss screening for prostate provider. African American men and those with a family history of prostate cancer should discuss screening at age 45.

Health Screenings 65 and beyond

Blood pressure:

  • Have your blood pressure checked at least once a year. If the top number (systolic number) is between 120 to 139 mm Hg or the bottom number (diastolic number) is between 80 to 89 mm Hg, then continue to have it checked every year.

Cholesterol:

  • Your cholesterol should be checked every 5 years.
  • If you have a high cholesterol level, diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often.

Diabetes:

  • If you are age 65 or older, you should be screened every 3 years.

Colorectal cancer:

  • Until age 75, you should have screening for colorectal cancer on a regular basis.
  • If you are age 76 or older, you should ask your provider if you need to be screened. 

Physical Exam:

  • Your blood pressure should be checked every year.
  • Your height, weight, and BMI should be checked at every exam.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm:

  • If you’ve ever smoked, it is recommended that you have an ultrasound to test for abdominal aortic aneurysm—an enlarged area in the aorta that can rupture if it gets too large—sometime between ages 65 and 75.