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5 Preventative Health Care Tips

Practicing good preventative health care is beneficial to your long term health. Preventative health care is especially important for people over the age of 50. Always contact your doctor or visit a hospital if you are sick or have a serious injury.

1. Get Your Blood Pressure Checked

As high blood pressure can lead to a heart attack, eye problems, kidney problems, and stroke; it is important to keep an eye on your blood pressure with regular checks. Usually having your blood pressure checked around every two years is fine if your blood pressure is less than 120/80. If it is higher, then your doctor may want to check it more often.

2. Have Your Cholesterol Level Screened

A cholesterol test measures four different types of fats (lipids) in your blood. Having too much cholesterol can clog your arteries increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. To be on the safe side, people over the age of 20 should have their cholesterol screened every between every four to six years. A simple blood test can provide you with this information. As risk of heart disease increases once you're over 50, continuing to have your cholesterol screened is important.

3. Receive a Mammogram

Mammograms are the best method of early breast cancer detection. The American Cancer Society recommends that women over 50 should receive a mammogram every two years. Scheduling mammograms should be done with your doctor, as family history needs to be taken into account.

4. Undergo a Colon Cancer Screening

As colon cancer is the second highest cause of cancer-related deaths in America, it is important to get colon cancer screening. There are a variety of options available, including a colonoscopy, a fecal occult blood test, a CT colonography, a multi-targeted stool DNA test, and a sigmoidoscopy. The frequency with which you should get these tests varies, depending on the test.

5. Receive a Pap (Papanicolaou) Test

Pap tests check for cervical cancer, which is easier to treat when detected early on. This procedure collects cells from the cervix that will then be viewed under a microscope to check for cancer or pre-cancerous cells. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommend that women should receive a pap test every three years if they are between the ages of 21 and 65.

Ready to schedule your next appointment? Contact Johnson Memorial Hospital today.

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