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Health screenings for men ages 18 to 39

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 medical problems
  • Encourage a healthy lifestyle
  • Update vaccinations
  • Help you get to know your provider in case of an illness

Information

Even if you feel fine, you should still see your provider for regular checkups. These visits can 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 level also may not have any symptoms in the early stages.

There are specific times when you should see your provider. Below are screening guidelines for men ages 18 to 39.

BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENING

  • Have your blood pressure checked every 3 to 5 years unless 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.
  • 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 have your blood pressure checked more often, at least once a year.
  • Watch for blood pressure screenings in your neighborhood or workplace. Ask your provider if you can stop in to have your blood pressure checked.

CHOLESTEROL SCREENING AND HEART DISEASE PREVENTION

  • Men over age 35 and older should be checked every 5 years.
  • If you have risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, start getting screened earlier, at age 20.
  • If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often.

DIABETES SCREENING

  • If your blood pressure is above 135/80 mm Hg, 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. Asian Americans should be screened if their BMI is greater than 23.

DENTAL EXAM

  • 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.

EYE EXAM

  • If you have vision problems, have an eye exam every 2 years, or more often if recommended by your provider.
  • Have an eye exam at least every year if you have diabetes.

IMMUNIZATIONS

  • After age 19, you should have a tetanus-diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine once as part of your tetanus-diphtheria vaccines. You should have a tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years.
  • You should get a flu shot each year.
  • Talk with your provider about getting the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine series if you have not already had it.
  • You should receive 2 doses of varicella vaccine if you were born after 1980 and never had chickenpox or the varicella vaccine.
  • If you were born after 1956, your provider will determine if you should receive at least one dose of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
  • Your provider may recommend other immunizations if you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes.

INFECTIOUS DISEASE SCREENING

  • Depending on your lifestyle and medical history, you may need to be screened for infections such as syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV, as well as other infections.

PHYSICAL EXAM

  • Your blood pressure should be checked at least every 3 to 5 years.
  • Your height, weight, and BMI should be checked at every exam.

During your exam, your provider may ask you about:

  • Depression
  • Diet and exercise
  • Alcohol and tobacco use
  • Safety, such as use of seat belts and smoke detectors

TESTICULAR EXAM

  • The US Preventive Services Task Force now recommends against performing testicular self-exam. Doing testicular exams has been shown to have little to no benefit.

Alternative Names

Health maintenance visit - men - ages 18 to 39; Physical exam - men - ages 18 to 39; Yearly exam - men - ages 18 to 39; Checkup - men - ages 18 to 39; Men's health - ages 18 to 39; Preventive care exam - men - ages 18 to 39

References

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American Dental Association. Your top 9 questions about going to the dentist - answered. Mouthhealthy.org Web site. www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/questions-about-going-to-the-dentist. Accessed June 9, 2017.

American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes - 2017. Diabetes Care. 2017;40(Suppl 1):S1-S98. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/40/Supplement_1.

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.

Cosman F, de Beur SJ, LeBoff MS, et al. Clinician's guide to prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Osteoporos Int. 2014;25(10):2359-2381. PMID: 25182228 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25182228.

Fihn SD, Blankenship JC, Alexander KP, et al. 2014 ACC/AHA/AATS/PCNA/SCAI/STS focused update of the guideline for the diagnosis and management of patients with stable ischemic heart disease: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines, and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Circulation. 2014;130(19):1749-1767. PMID: 25070666 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25070666.

Greenland P, Alpert JS, Beller GA, et al. 2010 ACCF/AHA guideline for assessment of cardiovascular risk in asymptomatic adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on practice guidelines. Circulation. 2010;122(25):e584-e636. PMID: 21098428 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21098428.

James PA, Oparil S, Carter BL, 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;311(5):507-520. PMID: 24352797 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24352797.

Kim DK, Riley LE, Harriman KH, Hunter P, Bridges CB; Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), ACIP Adult Immunization Work Group. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended immunization schedule for adults aged 19 years or older -- United States, 2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017;66(5):136-138. PMID: 28182599 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28182599.

Meschia JF, Bushnell C; American Heart Association Stroke Council, et al. Guidelines for the primary prevention of stroke: a statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2014;45(12):3754-3832. PMID: 25355838 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25355838.

Moyer VA; US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for lung cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2014;160(5):330-338. PMID: 24378917 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24378917.

Ridker PM, Libby P, Buring 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.

Siu AL; US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for high blood pressure in adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2015;163(10):778-786. PMID: 26458123 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26458123.

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U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, Bibbins-Domingo K, Grossman DC, Curry SJ, et al. Screening for colorectal cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2016;315(23):2564-2575. PMID: 27304597 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27304597.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for testicular cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reaffirmation recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2011;154(7):483-486. PMID: 21464350 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21464350.

Review Date 5/21/2017

Updated 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, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.