Why do the Tests of an Annual Health Check-up Change When We Age?

May 03, 2018

Regular health check-ups are important because they are not only able to find health problems you may have but may also warn you about problems that may surface in the future.

As the years go by, the set of tests as part of your health screening will adjust to fit your needs. While some tests are added, others may not be necessary anymore. All annual health checks commonly include vital signs and a physical examination, as well as blood, stool, and urine tests. It’s important to discuss with your doctor about which other test are advised .


Health Check-ups Before Age 30

Prior to age 30, in addition to the standard tests, doctors may discuss your sexual maturation. As part of a routine health check-up, this usually includes a discussion regarding the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases.

For women above 18-21 years of age, Pap smear tests and pelvic examinations are recommended annually. These tests are able to detect changes of the cells within the cervix before developing into cancer caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). During 21-30 years of age, a Pap smear test should be performed every 1- 3 years, and for over 30 years of age, a Pap smear test should be performed every 3-5 years (or Pap smear test with HPV (cotest) every 5 years).

For men in the same age group, doctors suggest an examination of the testes to check for testicular cancer. Testicular cancer is most common in younger men, but treatment is often successful when detected early.


What to Expect with a Health Check-up After Age 30

As people reach the second half of their 30s, the long term effects of lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, or other habits such as smoking take a visible toll on our health. At this stage in life, there are also additional health issues people need to start checking for.

For women who’ve reached 40, regular breast examinations are important to check for any irregular changes. Women are advised to annually have a doctor examine their breasts for lumps, redness, rashes, or dimpling on the skin or nipples. If present, these signs may indicate breast cancer . In addition to the physical exam, doctors recommend that women schedule a mammogram for a more thorough examination, and continue to have a mammogram every 1-2 years thereafter.

For men who’ve reached 40, prostate cancer becomes an increasing concern. Often, men neglect having a prostate examination until symptoms arise such as frequency or difficulty with urination. These symptoms may be the sign of an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer.

It’s apparent for everyone when aging that our eyes will gradually weaken and we may need glasses to correct vision. Another serious threat is glaucoma , which is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide, but luckily it can be treated and cured if detected early. Starting at age 40, doctors recommend an eye screening for glaucoma every 1-2 years. For people with a family history of glaucoma, people should start early at 35. By having an eye examination for glaucoma, your doctor will also be able to determine if you are suffering from any other changes which may be affecting your eyesight such as diabetes or macular degeneration (which both cause vision loss). Eye exams, not only for glaucoma, are important as they can greatly affect your daily life in regards to driving and work related safety. At Bumrungrad International, a comprehensive Premier Eye Exam is available that tests for all eventualities.

As women reach 55, osteoporosis is a serious condition that should be monitored yearly. Osteoporosis can lead to a variety of problems concerning bones such as joint pain or fractures. The frequency of a bone density scan is generally at the doctor’s discretion. For patients with low bone density, changes in diet and weight bearing exercises can successfully slow down the weakening of bones, while medical treatments are available as well.

Hearing problems are also quite common among the aging population. When visiting an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist, your doctor will carry out a range of hearing tests to determine if you may be suffering from any hearing loss or to what degree. Hearing assessments should be carried out once every 2 years.

Another concern is, once every 1-2 years, or as recommended by your doctor, people over 50 should have fecal occult blood test (FOBT). Stool is tested for blood content, and if found, this is a clear warning sign for bowel cancer.

And just as important as the FOBT, doctors also recommended that people of this age have a colonoscopy every 5 years. It’s known that colonoscopies have successfully curbed the prevalence of colon cancer among older adults over the years.

At the Health Screening Center, we offer a convenient way to check your health annually. Depending on your age and other factors, you can choose one of our unique check-up packages . As well, our Check-up Package Personalization questionnaire helps you pick the right package and possible add-ons with only a few mouse-clicks.


Don’t Neglect Your Check-ups

Remember that it’s important to visit your doctor for a check-up no matter your age. Annual health check-ups are just as vital for people in their 20s as it is for people in their 60s. You never know what hidden health problems you may be facing, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.


The Health Screening Center at Bumrungrad International Hospital

At Bumrungrad International, you will find health check-up packages available to suit your individual needs, which include our comprehensive and holistic check-up packages. To find out more, click here .

We recommended our holistic check-up packages for people over 55 years of age. In addition to the tests as part of our comprehensive packages, the holistic packages include the following: Vitamin B12, electrolytes, calcium, bone density, microalbuminuria, and a dilated eye exam, all of which are highly important for those in the age group.


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