1 Women: Stay Healthy at Any Age 2014 Update U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality www.ahrq.gov AHRQ Pub. No. 14-IP007-A Replaces AHRQ Pub. No. 10-IP002-A March 2014
2 Use this information to help you stay healthy. Learn which screening tests you need and when to get them, which medicines may prevent diseases, and steps you can take for good health. Get the Screenings You Need Screenings are tests that look for diseases before you have symptoms. Blood pressure checks and mammograms are examples of screenings. health care team can help you decide which You can get some screenings, such as blood is best for you. If you are between the ages of pressure readings, in your doctor’s office. 76 and 85, talk with your doctor or nurse Others, such as mammograms, need special about whether you should continue to be equipment, so you may need to go to a screened. different office. Your emotional health is as Depression. After a screening test, ask when you will see important as your physical health. Talk to the results and who to talk to about them. your health care team about being screened Breast Cancer. Talk with your health care for depression, especially if during the last 2 team about whether you need a mammogram. weeks: BRCA 1 and 2 Genes. If you have a family You have felt down, sad, or hopeless. ■ member with breast, ovarian, or peritoneal You have felt little interest or pleasure in ■ cancer, talk with your doctor or nurse about doing things. your family history. Women with a strong Get screened for diabetes (high Diabetes. family history of certain cancers may benefit blood sugar) if you have high blood pressure from genetic counselling and BRCA genetic or if you take medication for high blood testing. pressure. Cervical Cancer. Starting at age 21, get a Pap Diabetes can cause problems with your heart, smear every 3 years until you are 65 years old. brain, eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves, and other Women 30 years of age or older may choose body parts. to switch to a combination Pap smear and human papillomavirus (HPV) test every 5 Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). Get screened one years until the age of 65. If you are older than time for HCV infection if: 65 or have had a hysterectomy, talk with your ■ You were born between 1945 and 1965. doctor or nurse about whether you still need ■ You have ever injected drugs. to be screened. You received a blood transfusion before ■ Between the ages of 50 and Colon Cancer. 1992. 75, get a screening test for colorectal cancer. If you currently are an injection drug user, Several tests -- for example, a stool test or a you should be screened regularly. colonoscopy -- can detect this cancer. Your
3 You know your body better than anyone else. Always tell your health care team about any changes in your health, including your vision and hearing . Ask them about being checked for any condition you are concerned about, not just the ones here. If , you are wondering about diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or skin cancer for example, ask about them. High Blood Cholesterol. Have your blood The best way to Overweight and Obesity. learn if you are overweight or obese is to find cholesterol checked regularly with a blood test if: your body mass index (BMI). You can find ■ You use tobacco. your BMI by entering your height and weight ■ You are overweight or obese. into a BMI calculator, such as the one You have a personal history of heart ■ available at: www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/ disease or blocked arteries. obesity/BMI/bmicalc.htm ■ A male relative in your family had a heart A BMI between 18.5 and 25 indicates a attack before age 50 or a female relative, normal weight. Persons with a BMI of 30 or before age 60. higher may be obese. If you are obese, talk to your doctor or nurse about getting intensive Have your blood High Blood Pressure. counseling and help with changing your pressure checked at least every 2 years. High behaviors to lose weight. Overweight and blood pressure can cause strokes, heart attacks, obesity can lead to diabetes and cardiovascular kidney and eye problems, and heart failure. disease. HIV. If you are 65 or younger, get screened for Osteoporosis (Bone Thinning). Have a HIV. If you are older than 65, talk to your screening test at age 65 to make sure your doctor or nurse about whether you should be bones are strong. The most common test is a screened. DEXA scan—a low-dose x-ray of the spine Talk to your doctor or nurse Lung Cancer. and hip. If you are younger than 65 and at about getting screened for lung cancer if you high risk for bone fractures, you should also be are between the ages of 55 and 80, have a 30 screened. Talk with your health care team pack-year smoking history, and smoke now or about your risk for bone fractures. have quit within the past 15 years. (Your Sexually Transmitted Infections. Sexually pack-year history is the number of packs of transmitted infections can make it hard to get cigarettes smoked per day times the number of pregnant, may affect your baby, and can cause years you have smoked.) Know that quitting other health problems. smoking is the best thing you can do for your health. Get screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea infections if you are 24 years or younger and sexually active. If you are older than 24 years, talk to your doctor or nurse about whether you should be screened. Ask your doctor or nurse whether you should be screened for other sexually transmitted infection.
4 Immunizations. Get Preventive Medicines If You ■ Get a flu shot every year. Need Them Get shots for tetanus, diphtheria, and ■ If you are 55 or older, ask your health Aspirin. whooping cough. Get a tetanus booster if care team if you should take aspirin to prevent it has been more than 10 years since your strokes. Your health care team can help you last shot. decide whether taking aspirin to prevent stroke is If you are 60 or older, get a shot to prevent ■ right for you. shingles. Breast Cancer Drugs. Talk to your doctor about ■ If you are 65 or older, get a pneumonia your risks for breast cancer and whether you shot. should take medicines that may reduce those risks. Medications to reduce breast cancer have ■ Talk with your health care team about some potentially serious harms, so think through whether you need other vaccinations. You both the potential benefits and harms. can also find which ones you need by going to: . www.cdc.gov/vaccines/ Folic Acid. If you of an age at which you can get pregnant, you should take a daily supplement containing 0.4 to 0.8 mg of folic acid. Take Steps to Good Health Vitamin D to Avoid Falls. If you are 65 or older Be physically active and make healthy food and have a history of falls, mobility problems, or choices. Learn how at http://www.healthfinder. other risks for falling, ask your doctor about gov/HealthTopics/Category/nutrition-and- taking a vitamin D supplement to help reduce physical-activity . your chances of falling. Exercise and physical Get to a healthy weight and stay there. therapy may also help. Balance the calories you take in from food and drink with the calories you burn off by your activities. For tips on how to quit, go to Be tobacco free. www.smokefree.gov . To talk to someone about how to quit, call the National Quitline: 1-800-QUITNOW (784-8669). If you drink alcohol, have no more than one drink per 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.
5 Get More Information on Good Health Check out these Federal Government Web sites: Healthfinder.gov. Guides and tools for healthy living, an encyclopedia of health-related topics, health news, and more. Go to: www.healthfinder.gov . Health information from MedlinePlus. government agencies and health organizations, including a medical encyclopedia and health tools. Go to: . www.medlineplus.gov Questions Are the Answer. Information on how to get involved in your health care by asking questions, understanding your condition, and learning about your options. Go to: www.ahrq. gov/questionsaretheanswer . If you don’t have access to a computer, talk to your local librarian about health information in the library. Sources. This information is based on research from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The USPSTF is an independent group of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. The Task Force makes recommendations based on rigorous reviews of the scientific evidence to help primary care professionals and patients decide together whether a preventive service is right for a patient’s needs. Task Force members are practicing doctors and nurses in the fields of family medicine, general internal medicine, gynecology/obstetrics, nursing, pediatrics, and preventive medicine, as well as health behavior specialists. AHRQ provides scientific, administrative, and dissemination support to the USPSTF. For more information about the USPSTF, go to: www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality www.ahrq.gov AHRQ Pub. No. 14-IP007-A Replaces AHRQ Pub. No. 10-IP002-A Revised May 2014
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