Health Care Recommendations in Your 40s
Recommendations for medical exams, screening procedures and routine tests in your 40s vary depending on your family history, your overall health and your personal risk factors. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the goals of routine health care in your 40s are to develop and maintain the doctor-patient relationship, encourage a healthy lifestyle, screen for disease, assess risk for medical problems and update immunizations.
The following are general guidelines for people 40–49 years old:
Physical exam (check-up)—Every 2 or 3 years or as recommended; height, weight and BMI calculation, blood tests, urinalysis and mental health screening
Dental exam and cleaning—Every 6 months to 1 year or as recommended
Comprehensive eye exam—every 2 years or as recommended
Blood pressure screening—Every 2 years or as recommended; more often if you have hypertension or other conditions like diabetes, heart disease or kidney disease.
Cholesterol screening—Every 5 years or as recommended by your physician
Diabetes screening—as recommended in people at increased risk and those with certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure
Baseline skin exam to determine your skin cancer risk—subsequent exams may be performed every 3 months to 3–4 years, depending on your risk
Baseline ECG (electrocardiogram)
Colorectal cancer screening—beginning at age 45 if at increased risk (e.g., due to family history of the disease)
Immunizations—Annual flu (influenza) vaccine, tetanus booster (every 10 years), pneumococcal and hepatitis vaccines (as recommended)
Additional screening tests for women in their 40s—Annual clinical breast exam , pelvic exam and mammogram; Pap test and bone density test (as recommended)
Additional screening tests for men in their 40s—Testicular exam at every physical exam or as recommended; talk to your doctor about PSA screening and prostate cancer risk