Adults, All Ages
Although the U.S. Census Bureau reports that women are more likely than men to visit their doctor on a regular basis, roughly 22% of adult females in the U.S. did not visit a medical care provider in 2010. In addition to the diseases and medical conditions that affect both sexes, women face health risks like cancer of the breast, ovaries, and cervix.
In order to check for and address preventable medical problems such as these, women are encouraged to regularly meet with general practitioners, OB-GYNs, and other physicians that specialize in the treatment of female patients.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that only 33% of men did not visit a medical care provider in 2010. Adult males are encouraged to regularly visit their physician and request hernial exams, prostate screenings, and other procedures that mitigate against the risk of preventable medical conditions. The following section will discuss men's preventive health, as it pertains to different age groups.
The following section will discuss preventive health during adulthood, as it pertains to different age groups.
There are certain health issues that individuals should address throughout their adult lives. These include:
- Blood pressure: Adults should still have their blood pressure taken every two years if they exhibit normal levels (below 120/80 for women and men). Annual exams may be necessary for female patients with BP that falls between 120/80 and 139/89. Advanced treatment may be prescribed if BP is 140/90 or higher.
- Diabetes: Adult women whose blood pressure is higher than 135/80 (or those who take medication for high blood pressure) should be screened for diabetes.
- Cholesterol screening: Every adult should receive a cholesterol screening, especially if he or she is at a greater risk for heart disease. Typically, patients should be screened between the ages of 20 and 45; the frequency of these screenings will depend on factors like patient's weight, physical shape, and diet.
Skin check: Skin cancer affects adults of all ages ― and in most cases, physicians can detect the disease long before it becomes untreatable. Patients can also perform self-exams on moles and other skin growths at home using a system of detection known as "ABCDE."
- Asymmetry (the growth is not uniformly round)
- Border (the growth's edges are irregular)
- Color (the growth has changed color, or is a different color from other moles on the body)
- Diameter (the growth is larger than the eraser of a No. 2 pencil
- Evolving (the growth has recently changed in size, shape, or color)
- Dental and vision: Opinions differ in the medical community, but most experts agree that adults should visit the dentist at least once a year (and more frequently if they are experiencing dental issues). Patients should also undergo a vision test every two to three years (even if they have perfect vision and have not experienced any problems).
- Vaccines: Adult men and women should receive an annual flu shot and renew their TDAP immunization every 10 years.