Health experts recommend that men over 40 talk to their doctor about taking aspirin to prevent heart disease. Aspirin therapy may be prescribed earlier for smokers or men who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
A checklist for men’s health screenings:
Blood pressure — at least every two years. Aim for a BP under 120/80.
Cholesterol — every five years starting at age 35. If heart disease runs in your family, talk to your doctor about earlier screening. Normal total cholesterol is under 200.
Diabetes — if you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, a blood test for diabetes is recommended.
Colorectal cancer — colonoscopy or other screenings beginning at age 50; earlier if you have a personal or family history of polyps or colorectal cancer.
Prostate cancer — talk to your doctor at age 40. Recommendations can differ because of race and family history.
Testicular cancer — a testicular exam by your doctor as part of your regular checkups. Testicular cancer is most common in men ages 15 to 34 years of age.
For more information about recommendations for prevention, go to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force at www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstfix.htm.
Sources: American Heart Association; American Cancer Society