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Health screenings for men ages 18 to 39

Definition

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 and other preventive care services
  • Help you get to know your provider in case of an illness

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

Information

Even if you feel fine, you should still see your provider for regular checkups. These visits can help you 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. Simple blood tests can check for these conditions.

There are specific times when you should see your provider or receive specific health screenings. The US Preventive Services Task Force publishes a list of recommended screenings. Below are screening guidelines for men ages 18 to 39.

BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENING

Your blood pressure should be checked at least once every 3 to 5 years if:

  • Your blood pressure is in the normal range (top number less than 120 mm Hg and bottom number less than 80 mm Hg)
  • You don't have risk factors for high blood pressure

Ask your provider if you need your blood pressure checked more often if:

  • The top number is from 120 to 129 mm Hg or the bottom number is from 70 to 79 mm Hg
  • You have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, are overweight, or have certain other health conditions
  • You have a first-degree relative with high blood pressure
  • You are Black

If the top number is 130 mm Hg or greater or the bottom number is 80 mm Hg or greater, this is considered stage 1 hypertension. Schedule an appointment with your provider to learn how you can reduce your blood pressure.

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

Cholesterol screening should begin at:

  • Age 35 for men with no known risk factors for coronary heart disease
  • Age 20 for men with known risk factors for coronary heart disease

Repeat cholesterol screening should take place:

  • Every 5 years for men with normal cholesterol levels
  • More often if changes occur in lifestyle (including weight gain and diet)
  • More often if you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions

DIABETES SCREENING

You should be screened for diabetes starting at age 35 and then repeated every 3 years if you have no risk factors for diabetes.

Screening may need to start earlier and be repeated more often if you have other risk factors for diabetes, such as:

  • You have a first degree relative with diabetes.
  • You are overweight or have obesity.
  • You have high blood pressure, prediabetes, or a history of heart disease.
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

  • Have an eye exam every 5 to 10 years before age 40.
  • If you have vision problems, have an eye exam every 2 years, or more often if recommended by your provider.
  • Have an eye exam that includes an examination of your retina (back of your eye) at least every year if you have diabetes.

IMMUNIZATIONS

Commonly needed vaccines include:

  • Flu shot: get one every year.
  • COVID-19 vaccine: ask your provider what is best for you.
  • Tetanus-diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine: have one at or after age 19 as one of your tetanus-diphtheria vaccines if you did not receive it as an adolescent.
  • Tetanus-diphtheria: have a booster (or Tdap) every 10 years.
  • Varicella vaccine: receive two doses if you never had chickenpox or the varicella vaccine.
  • Hepatitis B vaccine: receive 2, 3, or 4 doses, depending on your exact circumstances.
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine: receive one to two doses if you are not already immune to MMR. Your doctor can tell you if you are immune

Ask your provider about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine if you have:

  • Not received the HPV vaccine in the past
  • Not completed the full vaccine series (you should catch up on this shot)

Ask your provider if you should receive other immunizations if you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or are at increased risk for some diseases such as pneumonia.

INFECTIOUS DISEASE SCREENING

  • All adults ages 18 to 79 should get a one-time test for hepatitis C.
  • All people ages 15 to 65 should get a one-time test for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Depending on your lifestyle and medical history, you may need to be screened for infections such as syphilis, chlamydia, and other infections.

PHYSICAL EXAM

All adults should visit their provider from time to time, even if they are healthy. The purpose of these visits is to:

  • Screen for diseases
  • Assess risk of future medical problems
  • Encourage a healthy lifestyle
  • Update vaccinations and other preventive care services
  • Maintain a relationship with a provider in case of an illness

Your height, weight, and BMI should be checked at every exam.

During your exam, your provider may ask you about:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Diet and exercise
  • Alcohol and tobacco use
  • Safety, such as use of seat belts and smoke detectors
  • Your medicines and risk for interactions

TESTICULAR EXAM

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

SKIN SELF-EXAM

  • Your provider may check your skin for signs of skin cancer, especially if you're at high risk, such as if you have had skin cancer before.
  • Have close relatives with skin cancer.
  • Have a weakened immune system.

OTHER SCREENING

  • Talk with your provider about colon cancer screening if you have a strong family history of colon cancer or polyps, or if you have had inflammatory bowel disease or polyps yourself.

References

Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Adult immunization schedule by age. Recommendations for ages 19 years or older, United States, 2023. www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/adult.html. Updated April 27, 2023. Accessed July 30, 2023.

American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Clinical statement: comprehensive adult medical eye examination PPP 2020. www.aao.org/education/preferred-practice-pattern/comprehensive-adult-medical-eye-evaluation-ppp. Updated November 2020. Accessed July 30, 2023.

American Dental Association website. Your top 9 questions about going to the dentist -- answered! www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/questions-about-going-to-the-dentist. Accessed July 30, 2023.

Atkins D, Barton M. The periodic health examination. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 12.

ElSayed NA, Aleppo G, Aroda VR, American Diabetes Association, et al. Professional Practice Committee. 2. Classification and diagnosis of diabetes: standards of medical care in diabetes-2023. Diabetes Care. 2023;46(Suppl 1):S19-S30. PMID: 36507649. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36507649/.

Grundy SM, Stone NJ, Bailey AL, et al. 2018 AHA/ACC/AACVPR/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/ADA/AGS/APhA/ASPC/NLA/PCNA Guideline on the management of blood cholesterol: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines [published correction appears in J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019 Jun 25;73(24):3237-3241]. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019;73(24):e285-e350. PMID: 30423393 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30423393/.

Meschia JF, Bushnell C, Boden-Albala B; 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 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25355838/.

Mora S, Libby P, Ridker PM. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Bhatt DL, Solomon SD, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 25.

US Preventive Services Task Force website. A and B recommendations. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation-topics/uspstf-a-and-b-recommendations. Accessed July 30, 2023.

US Preventive Services Task Force website. Final recommendation statement. Hepatitis C virus infection in adolescents and adults: screening. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/hepatitis-c-screening. Published March 2, 2020. Accessed July 30, 2023.

US Preventive Services Task Force website. Final recommendation statement. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection: screening. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/human-immunodeficiency-virus-hiv-infection-screening. Published June 11, 2019. Accessed July 30, 2023.

US Preventive Services Task Force website. Hypertension in adults: screening. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/hypertension-in-adults-screening. Published April 27, 2021. Accessed July 30, 2023.

US Preventive Services Task Force website. Final recommendation statement. Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes: screening. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/screening-for-prediabetes-and-type-2-diabetes. Updated August 24, 2021. Accessed July 30, 2023.

US Preventive Services Task Force website. Final recommendation statement. Skin cancer: screening. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/skin-cancer-screening. Updated April 18, 2023. Accessed July 30, 2023.

US Preventive Services Task Force website. Testicular cancer: screening. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/testicular-cancer-screening. Published April 15, 2011. Accessed July 30, 2023.

Whelton PK, Carey RM, Mancia G, Kreutz R, Bundy JD, Williams B. Harmonization of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association and European Society of Cardiology/European Society of Hypertension Blood Pressure/Hypertension Guidelines: comparisons, reflections, and recommendations. Circulation. 2022;146:868-877. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.121.054602. PMID 35950927. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35950927/.

Last reviewed August 1, 2023 by David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update 04/18/2023. Internal review and update on 08/01/23..

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Community and Patient Programs: Health screenings for men ages 18 to 39

Our community and patient programs provide great value to patients, families and loved ones. People can find support, educational materials, expert consultants and more. In most instances, these programs are offered free of charge.

  • HealthStreet

    Helps bridge the gap between community members and resources available to them, including health screenings, classes and other services.

  • Hereditary Cancer Program

    Helps patients and their families determine if they are at an increased genetic risk to develop cancer.

  • UF Health at Work Program

    Provides convenient health promotion services by offering members reliable health information, education and preventative screenings at their work sites or other convenient locations.

  • UF Mobile Outreach Clinic

    Provides primary medical care services at no cost to the patient.