Preventive health care
Preventive health care
All adults should visit their health care provider from time to time, even when they are healthy. The purpose of these visits is to:
- Screen for diseases, such as high blood pressure or diabetes
- Look for future disease risks, such as high cholesterol and obesity
- Discuss alcohol use and safe drinking and tips on how to quit smoking
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle, such as healthy eating and exercise
- Update vaccinations
- Maintain a relationship with your health care provider in case of illness
Following are some of the tests that may be done or scheduled:
- Blood pressure
- Blood sugar
- Cholesterol (blood)
- Colon cancer screening test
- Depression screening
- Genetic testing for breast cancer or ovarian cancer in certain women
- HIV test
- Osteoporosis screening
- Pap smear
- Tests for Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and other sexually transmitted diseases
Your health care provider can recommend how often you might want to schedule a visit.
Another part of preventive health is learning to recognize changes in your body that may not be normal. This is so you can see your health care provider right away. Changes may include:
- A lump anywhere on your body
- Losing weight without trying
- A lasting fever
- A cough that does not go away
- Body aches and pains that do not go away
- Changes or blood in your stools
- Skin changes or sores that do not go away or get worse
- Other changes or symptoms that are new or do not go away
Atkins D, Barton M. The periodic health examination. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman’s Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 14.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Guide to clinical preventive services 2012. Rockville, MD. 2012. AHRQ publications 12-05154. Available at http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/pocketgd2012/pocketgd2012.pdf. Accessed January 20, 2013.
Reviewed by:Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC'saccreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorousstandards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information andservices. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorialpolicy, editorialprocess, and privacypolicy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch.)
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatmentof any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication ordistribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.