Steps to Protect and Improve Health
Adhering to this list can result in significant benefits. Use it to start a conversation about preventive health actions at your next doctor's visit.
Some simple preventive health measures, in rank order, are listed below.
- A daily aspirin to prevent heart attacks and stroke (in men over 40 and women over 50).
- Screening and brief counseling by doctors on use of tobacco products.
- Routine colorectal-cancer screening (for adults 50 and older by any recognized method).
- Hypertension screening via routine blood-pressure tests and medication (if necessary).
- Annual flu shots (for adults 50 and older).
- Immunization of adults 65 and older against bacteria that cause pneumonia and related diseases.
- Screening and brief counseling of problem drinkers by their physicians.
- Vision screening (for adults 65 and older).
- Cervical cancer screening (for sexually active women and women over 21).
- Cholesterol screening (for men 35 and older and women 45 and older).
- Routine breast-cancer screening (for women 50 and older and discussion with women ages 40 to 49 to set an age to begin screening).
- Calcium-supplement counseling (for adolescent girls and women).
- Obesity screening (for adults) and high-intensity diet and exercise counseling (for the obese).
- Depression screening (for adults).
- Hearing-impairment screening (for adults 65 and over).
- Those preventive measures that are ignored by more than half who would benefit from them are indicated by asterisks.
Source: Information provided by the Partnership for Prevention, a membership organization advancing policies and practices to prevent disease and improve the health of all Americans. www.prevent.org
The Immunization Action Coalition offers a detailed Q&A page explaining and educating on the pneumococcal vaccine.