Get a Check-Up

Menstuff® has compiled information regarding the importance of getting check-ups. Not just your car but you body, teeth, mind and spirit.

Daily Steps to Good Health
Men: Stay Healthy at 50+
The Standard Checkup? Well, Not Exactly
Related Subjects:
Men's Health A-Z , Men's Health General, Prostate Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Free Healthy Men 2009 calendar

Daily Steps to Good Health


Be tobacco free. For tips on how to quit, go to: www.smokefree.gov or www.ahrq.gov/path/tobacco.htm . To talk to someone about how to be tobacco free, call the National Quitline: 1-800-QUITNOW.

Be physically active. If you are not already physically active, start small and work up to 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity most days of the week. Walking briskly, mowing the lawn, dancing, swimming, and bicycling are just a few examples of moderate physical activity.

Eat a healthy diet. Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Eat foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.

Stay at a healthy weight. Balance the calories you take in from food and drink with the calories you burn off by your activities. Check with your doctor if you start to gain or lose weight.

If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. Have no more than two drinks a day if you are 65 or younger. If you are older than 65, have no more than one drink a day. A standard drink is one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.

Should You Take Preventive Medicines?

Aspirin. Ask your doctor about taking aspirin to prevent heart disease.

Immunizations. You need a flu shot every year. You can prevent other serious diseases, such as pneumonia, whooping cough, and shingles, by being vaccinated. Talk with your doctor or nurse about the vaccines you need and when to get them. You can also find out which immunizations you need by going to www2.cdc.gov/nip/adultImmSched/

Screening Tests: What You Need and When

Health experts from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force have made these recommendations, based on scientific evidence, about which screening tests you need and when to get them.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. If you are between the ages of 65 and 75 and have ever been a smoker, talk with your doctor about being screened.

Colorectal Cancer. Have a test for colorectal cancer. Your doctor can help you decide which test is right for you.

Depression. Your emotional health is as important as your physical health. If you have felt "down," sad, or hopeless over the last 2 weeks or have felt little interest or pleasure in doing things, you may be depressed. Talk to your doctor about being screened for depression.

Diabetes. Have a blood test for diabetes if you have high blood pressure.

High Blood Pressure. Have your blood pressure checked at least every 2 years.High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher.

High Cholesterol. Have your cholesterol checked regularly.

HIV. Talk with your doctor about HIV screening if any of these apply:

Obesity. Have your body mass index (BMI) calculated to screen for obesity. (BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.) You can find your own BMI with the BMI calculator from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/.

Sexually Transmitted Infections. Talk to your doctor about being tested for sexually transmitted infections.

A Note on Other Conditions. Every body is different. Always feel free to ask your doctor about being checked for any condition, not just the ones above. If you are worried about diseases such as glaucoma, prostate cancer, or skin cancer, for example, ask your doctor. And always tell your doctor about any changes in your health, including your vision and hearing.

Screening Test Record

Take this form to your doctor's office. You can use it to keep track of the date and results of your last screening tests, when you should have the test next, and questions you have for your next doctor visit.

Test for:

Last Test
(mo/yr)
Results
Next Test Due
(mo/yr)
Questions for the Doctor

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
(One-Time Test)

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.

.

.

Colorectal Cancer

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.

.

.

Diabetes

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.

.

High Blood Pressure

.

.

.

.

High Cholesterol Total:

HDL (Good)
LDL (Bad)

.

.

.

.

HIV Infection

.

.

.

.

Obesity (BMI)

.

.

.

.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

.

.

.

.

Sources..The information in this fact sheet is based on research findings from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The USPSTF, supported by AHRQ, is the leading independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care. This fact sheet was developed in partnership with AARP.

Put Prevention Into Practice, part of the AHRQ Dissemination and Implementation Program, is designed to increase the appropriate use of clinical preventive services, such as screening tests, preventive medications, and counseling. Based on the recommendations of the USPSTF and Government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Put Prevention Into Practice tools and resources help clinicians determine which preventive services their patients should receive and make it easier for patients to participate in, understand, and keep track of their preventive care.

For more information about USPSTF recommendations and Put Prevention Into Practice, go to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Web site at: www.preventiveservices.ahrq.gov

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

AHRQ Publication No. 08-IP002
AARP Pub. No. 019005
Current as of May 2008

Internet Citation: Men: Stay Healthy at 50+—Checklists for Your Health. AHRQ Publication No. 08-IP002, May 2008. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/ppip/men50.htm
Source: www.aarp.org/health/healthyliving/articles/men50.html

Men: Stay Healthy at 50+


Use the checklists in this flyer to help you stay healthy at 50+. The checklists help answer your questions about what daily steps you can take for good health, whether you need medicines to prevent disease, and which screening tests you need and when to get them.

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The Standard Checkup? Well, Not Exactly


Ugh Hawthorne is not a man easily impressed. But he sounded positively rhapsodic when describing his treatment in February at the Sentara Medical Group in Norfolk, Va.

"All through the day it was, `Can I get you some water? Do you need anything? Is the water too cold?' " said Mr. Hawthorne, a 70- year-old construction industry executive who lives in Richmond. "And they served a great breakfast, with ham and eggs, bagels and all kinds of jams and jellies."

Between the latest medical tests and extended consultations with the staff, Mr. Hawthorne relaxed in private quarters complete with phone, fax and e-mail access. The bill for the day: $2,700.

Afterward, Mr. Hawthorne received a folding wallet card that included a condensed medical history, as well as miniature copies of his chest X-ray and electrocardiogram. Oh, and there was one other thing: a CAT scan revealed a malignant tumor on his kidney that, according to his doctor, could have proved fatal had it not been discovered early.

For most Americans, the era of managed care has meant brusque treatment from overworked medical personnel, 15-minute doctors' appointments, endless waits for simple diagnostic tests and byzantine health insurance procedures. But when price is no object, there is an alternative — a growing number of alternatives, in fact, as more hospitals and clinics are offering gilt-edged services aimed at those who are used to going to the head of the line.

Known as executive physicals, these services combine personal attention with the latest medical technology. The examinations generally include blood tests, ultrasound studies, EKG's, stress exams, sigmoidoscopies, bone density evaluations, full-body CAT scans, body composition analysis, hearing and vision tests and mammograms and Pap smears for women. Patients often meet with a cardiologist, gastroenterologist, audiologist, endocrinologist, neurologist, orthopedist, dermatologist, psychiatrist, nutritionist and any other specialist deemed appropriate. At the end, there is advice on stress management, exercise and changes that can reduce risk factors.

The list of amenities frequently sounds like a travel brochure. The Web site for the Greenbrier Clinic in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., boasts of a "luxurious setting" and its affiliation with "the world-famous" Greenbrier resort, a conference center.

In describing the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, its founder, sounded more like a zoologist than President Bush's personal doctor, which he has been for more than a decade. "We have a beautiful 30-acre campus," he said, "we have two lakes, we have ducks, we have geese, we have rabbits and squirrels, we have superb landscaping, and you can get a wonderful massage."

The Cooper Clinic is one of a handful of medical institutions that have served the well-heeled for years. Others include the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, the medical center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and, of course, the world-famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn, whose patients have included King Hussein, Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali and the Rev. Billy Graham. The Mayo Clinic even operates its own air transportation system, Mayo MedAir, to whisk patients in from, say, Kuwait or Argentina, although the service is generally reserved for people who are too sick to travel on commercial flights rather than those coming just for a checkup.

But now dozens of other health care institutions, squeezed in recent years by cutbacks in reimbursement rates from private and government insurance programs, have jumped into the high-end market by offering executive programs of their own.

Sentara in Norfolk, which advertises in publications like Millionaire and The Robb Report, started its executive program in 1997, and now conducts about 600 examinations a year. At Stanford University, the Menlo Medical Clinic created a similar division two years ago. Four full- time doctors are assigned to the program, which draws much of its business from Silicon Valley.

"The health insurance system doesn't really allow you to respond to people in an optimal way," said Dr. Charles Tucker, the Menlo clinic's medical director. "With managed care, everybody's schedule is so jampacked that there isn't a moment of extra time to spend talking to people about their problems."

RATES for executive physicals at the best-known centers are $1,500 to $3,000, depending upon the tests selected. Since the examinations are considered preventive care, health-insurance plans almost never cover them. But many corporations pick up the tab as a perk for their top executives.

The programs have found a receptive market. Dr. John Hutchins, the director of international patient services at Johns Hopkins, estimates that the number of institutions offering executive physicals has doubled in the last 10 years. "And I think demand will double in the next five, partly because the baby boomers seem to be more health conscious," he said.

The Mayo Clinic expects to perform 4,500 executive physicals this year, and the waiting time for an appointment rose to nine months from three months a few years ago, according to Dr. Donald Hensrud, the director of Mayo's executive health program.

"We're constructing a new building and we've been looking to add more physicians," he said.

Not everyone is enamored of the executive physical trend. Some consumer advocates say the programs contribute to the creation of a separate health-care system for the rich. Others say the medical benefits of batteries of screening tests are exaggerated and the millions of dollars tossed at such programs could be used far more effectively.

"The resources would be better spent on better health insurance for all employees," said Arthur A. Levin, the director of the Center for Medical Consumers, a New York nonprofit organization. "Or on investing in an ergonomic workplace environment or helping employees stop smoking or lose weight. There's a whole host of possibilities that would be more useful and more democratic."

Dr. Hensrud of the Mayo Clinic agreed that everyone should have access to basic screening tests and health promotion information. "But in this program we're not depriving anyone else of that," he said.

Source: David Tuller, www.nytimes.com/2001/06/24/health/24TULL-MH.html 

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