Wise Health Care Choices  »  Medical Exams & Tests

The following tests are recommended for persons between the ages of 11 and 24. If you have an increased risk for certain conditions, testing may need to be done sooner or more often. Additional tests may also need to be done. Follow your health care provider’s advice.


*Note: These are general guidelines. Adults should also be screened for alcohol misuse, depression, obesity, and tobacco use. People ages 15 to 65 should be screened for HIV. (See HIV / AIDS topic on page 240.) If you are at an increased risk for an illness, tests may need to be done sooner or more often. Extra tests (e.g., screening for diabetes, glaucoma) may also need to be done. Persons with high blood pressure or high cholesterol should be screened for diabetes. Follow your doctor’s advice. Check with your health plan to see if and when tests are covered.

  1. 1.Breast cancer screening guidelines vary with different health groups. For ages 40-49 and 74+, discuss your breast cancer risk and the pros and cons of these screening tests with your doctor or health care provider. Women at a high risk for breast cancer should seek expert medical advice about breast cancer screening and prevention.

  2. 2.Screening guidelines vary with different health groups. Ask your doctor at what age you should discuss prostate cancer screening. Ask about the benefits and risks of having prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests.

  3. 3.Follow your doctor’s advice. Screening test options include a stool blood test, sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy. How often testing is needed depends on the test(s) given and on your personal risk factors.

Health Test

Ages 18-29

Ages 30-39

Pap Test

Regular Dental Checkup

Cholesterol Blood Test

Blood Pressure

Physical Exam

Vision Exam

Every 6-12 months

Discuss with doctor

Discuss with doctor

Starting at age 35 (men); 45 (women at increased risk for coronary heart disease) or as advised

At least every 3 years ages 21-65; as advised after age 65. Ages 30-65, ask your doctor about having a Pap test plus a human papillomavirus (HPV) test every 5 years.

At every office visit or at least every 2 years

Ages 40-49

Ages 50 & older

Colorectal Cancer Screening (3)

Ages 50-75


Chlamydia Screening

All sexually active women ages 24 and younger; ages 25+ if at an increased risk

Professional Breast Exam (1)

Discuss with doctor

Mammogram (1)

Every 2 years ages 50-74 or as advised

Osteoporosis Screening

All women starting at age 65 (younger than age 65 if at increased risk) as advised

Prostate Cancer Screening (2)

Discuss with doctor


Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening

Ages 50-75