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CHECKUP CHECKLIST.

Byline: - Compiled by Mariko Thompson

Doctors have given the old-fashioned annual physical a makeover. Instead of giving the same tests to every patient each year, the focus these days is on individual risk factors and preventive screenings. Periodic preventive screenings can detect diseases at earlier stages when they're easier to treat. How frequently you're screened for certain diseases will depend on such things as your family history and health habits. Preventive screenings, along with proper nutrition, regular exercise and quitting smoking, are seen as keys to good health.

Children (Birth to 17)

Blood pressure: At every checkup starting at age 3.

Chlamydia test: Annually for teenage girls who are sexually active.

Dental: First exam within six months of the eruption of the first tooth, but no later than 12 months of age. Children should get regular dental checkups starting at age 3 or when all 20 baby teeth have come in.

Head circumference: Measure at every checkup between birth and 2 years.

Hearing: Exam given at birth and again between ages of 3 and 5, then as recommended by your doctor.

Height and weight: Measure at every checkup starting at age 3. Body mass index may be calculated to determine if the child is at a healthy weight.

Immunizations: Includes hepatitis B (HepB), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTaP), haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), inactivated polio (IPV), measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), varicella, pneumococcal (PCV), hepatitis A, and influenza. Visit Los Angeles County Department of Health Services at www.lapublichealth.org/ip/ for an updated schedule.

Vision: Infants and toddlers should be screened for common eye problems during regular pediatric appointments. Vision testing is recommended starting at age 3.

Women

Blood cholesterol: Check once at age 20 and every five years after age 45. If you smoke, have diabetes or have a family history of heart disease, regular checks should start at age 20.

Blood pressure: Check at each visit, at least every two years.

Breast: Start annual mammograms at age 40. Clinical breast exams should be performed every three years between ages of 20 and 39, and annually starting at 40. Women with a higher risk for breast cancer should discuss frequency of screenings with their doctors.

Colorectal: Start periodic colorectal cancer tests at age 50. Your doctor can recommend which test is right for you.

Dental: Get regular checkups on a schedule recommended by your dentist.

Diabetes (type 2): Check every five years starting at age 45.

Immunizations: Get a tetanus booster shot every 10 years. An annual flu shot is recommended, particularly for those over 50. Everyone over 65 should receive a one-time pneumonia shot.

Osteoporosis: Get a bone density test at age 65. If you're between the ages of 60 to 64 and weigh less than 154 pounds, discuss with your doctor whether to test earlier.

Pap smear: Women who are sexually active or over 21 should have a Pap smear test every one to three years as determined by your doctor. Starting at age 30, women with three normal consecutive tests may get screened every two to three years.

Vision: Schedule at least one screening between the ages of 20 and 29 and two screenings between the ages of 30 and 39. Between 40 and 65, schedule an exam every two to four years. People at higher risk for eye diseases - African-Americans over age 40, diabetics and those with a family history of eye problems - will need to go more often. Starting at age 65, get tested every one to two years for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and other eye conditions.

Men

Blood cholesterol: Check once at age 20 and every five years after age 35. If you smoke, have diabetes or have a family history of heart disease, start regular checks at age 20.

Blood pressure: Check at each visit, at least every two years.

Colorectal: Start periodic colorectal cancer test at age 50. Your doctor can recommend which test is right for you.

Dental: Get regular checkups on a schedule recommended by your dentist.

Diabetes (type 2): Check every five years starting at age 45.

Immunizations: Get a tetanus booster shot every 10 years. An annual flu shot is recommended, particularly for those over 50. Everyone over 65 should receive a one-time pneumonia shot.

Prostate: Annual prostate specific antigen (PSA) test should begin at age 50. African-Americans or men with a family history of prostate cancer should start at age 40.

Vision: Schedule at least one screening between the ages of 20 and 29 and two screenings between the ages of 30 and 39. Between 40 and 65, schedule an exam every two to four years. People at higher risk for eye diseases - African-Americans over age 40, diabetics and those with a family history of eye problems - will need to go more often. Starting at age 65, get tested every one to two years for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and other eye conditions.

Sources: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Cancer Society, American Dental Association, Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

CAPTION(S):

4 photos

Photo:

(1 -- cover -- color) One exam does not fit all

Make sure your medical checkup is right for you

(2 -- 3) Nicole Magallanes, above, undergoes an eye exam at Valley Community Clinic in North Hollywood, where, at right, Sarahi Magallanes is examined by optometrist Jack Sonnenschein.

(4) Dentist Rachel Goldberg examines Bessna Plaza at Valley Community Clinic. Children should have regular dental checkups starting at age 3.

Photo illutration by Evan Yee/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 5, 2004
Words:922
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