Brothers, are you 40 or over? Even if you feel fine, you should still see your physician or health 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. Below are screening guidelines for men ages 40 to 64.
BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENING: Have your blood pressure checked once a year. If the top number (systolic number) is between 120 and 139 or the bottom number (diastolic number) is between 80 and 89 mm Hg, then continue to have it checked every year. Watch for blood pressure screenings in your area. Ask your provider if you can stop in to have your blood pressure checked. You can also check your blood pressure using the automated machines at local grocery stores and pharmacies. If the top number is greater than 140 or the bottom number is greater than 90, schedule an appointment with your provider.
CHOLESTEROL SCREENING AND HEART DISEASE PREVENTION: Your cholesterol should be checked every 5 years. If you have a high cholesterol level, diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often. Some men should consider taking aspirin to prevent heart attacks. Ask your provider before you start aspirin because aspirin may increase your risk for bleeding.
DIABETES SCREENING: If you are age 45 or older, you should be screened every 3 years. If you are overweight, ask your provider if you should be screened at a younger age. Asian Americans should be screened if their BMI is greater than 23. If your blood pressure is above 135/80 mm Hg, or you have other risk factors for diabetes, your provider may test your blood sugar level for diabetes.
PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING: Most men age 50 or older should discuss screening for prostate cancer with their provider. African American men and those with a family history of prostate cancer in a first degree relative younger than age 65 should discuss screening at age 45.
The potential benefits of PSA testing as a routine screening test have not been shown to outweigh the harms of testing and treatment. If you choose to be tested, the PSA blood test is most often done every year.