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It is never too late to take charge of your health by developing healthy habits and getting regular screening tests for common health problems. Screening tests include self-checks, clinical exams, non-laboratory tests (such as imaging tests), and laboratory tests. The focus here is on laboratory screening tests and other tests and conditions related to healthy aging. It’s easy to take these tests for granted, but their power to keep you healthier longer should not be underestimated.

General Screening Tests

Several major health organizations recommend routine health screenings for some conditions and diseases. Getting routine tests performed even though you have no symptoms can help detect problems early and help you benefit from easier and more effective treatment. It can sometimes even prevent disease. It’s easy to take these tests for granted, but their power to keep you healthier longer should not be underestimated. Talk to your health care practitioner about getting these recommended screenings.

Condition Screening Test(s)
Diabetes Glucose Tests, hemoglobin A1c
Heart Disease Risk Lipid Panel
Obesity Physical Exam and Body Mass Index
High Blood Pressure Blood pressure reading
HIV HIV test
Sexually Transmitted Diseases Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis
Colon Cancer Fecal occult blood test, Colonoscopy
Hepatitis C Hepatitis C test

Two panels of tests are frequently used as general health screenings. These tests can screen for a number of health issues at the same time. Your health care practitioner may order these when you have a general health examination:

Blood Test Panels Examples of Conditions Screened
Complete blood count (CBC) Anemia, infection, iron deficiency, bleeding disorders
Complete metabolic panel (CMP) Liver disease, kidney disease, electrolyte and acid/base balance

Conditions that can affect your health

As we age, the risk of developing certain conditions and diseases can increase. By understanding these conditions and being aware of how they may affect you, you can be proactive in staying healthy. You can be more informed when talking to your health care practitioners about your health concerns. Read about the following diseases and conditions to learn about their signs and symptoms, related tests as well as their prevention and treatment.

Examples of Conditions Some Related Tests
Angina Troponin
Arthritis Rheumatoid factor, Cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (CCP), ESR, CRP
Autoimmune diseases ANA, anti-dsDNA, other autoantibodies
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) Cardiac risk assessment, lipid panel
Gout Uric acid, synovial fluid analysis
Influenza (flu) Influenza testing
Kidney disease Urine albumin (microalbumin), creatinine, BUN, cystatin C
Osteoporosis Dexa scan, Bone markers
Pneumonia Sputum culture, antibiotic susceptibility testing
Sepsis Procalcitonin, blood culture, urine culture
Shingles Physical examination (sometimes varicella zoster testing)
Thyroid diseases Thyroid panel, TSH, Free T4, T3