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Screening tests help find diseases early, before you have any symptoms. This is when diseases are easier to treat. You can get many of these tests in your doctor's office. Other tests need special equipment.

Here are screening tests you need from ages 40 to 65. Some of these guidelines come from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Scientific research supports these guidelines.

But sometimes other organizations have different recommendations. When there are conflicting recommendations, we've included the guidelines of organizations like the CDC and the American Cancer Society.

Also, your doctor may recommend slightly different schedules, depending on your situation. If you have any questions about when you should be tested, talk it over with your doctor.

Screening Tests for Men and Women

Screening Test Ages 40-49 Ages 50-64
Blood pressure test

Everyone should be tested for high blood pressure.

If your blood pressure is:

  • Lower than 120/80 (normal), get tested at least every 2 years
  • Between 120/80 and 139/89, get tested every year.
  • 140/90 or higher, talk with your doctor about treatment

Everyone should be screened for high blood pressure.

If your blood pressure is:

  • Lower than 120/80 (normal), get tested at least every 2 years
  • Between 120/80 and 139/89, get tested every year.
  • 140/90 or higher, talk with your doctor about treatment
Cholesterol test

Women: Start testing at age 45 if you have a risk of heart disease.

Men: Get tested regularly, as often as your doctor recommends.

Women and Men: Get tested regularly, as often as your doctor recommends.

Colorectal cancer screening

(fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy)

Screening is not recommended until age 50.

The American Cancer Society recommends that people at high risk for colorectal cancer start testing before age 50.

Starting at age 50, get tested with the test your doctor recommends. Ask how often you need it.
Diabetes test The American Diabetes Association recommends testing every 3 years starting at age 45 or younger if you are overweight or have other factors that increase your risk. The American Diabetes Association recommends testing every 3 years or earlier if you have risk factors.
HIV test

The USPSTF says get tested if you are pregnant or at increased risk for HIV. Talk to your doctor about your risk.

The CDC recommends everyone get HIV tests.

The USPSTF says get tested if you are at increased risk for HIV. Talk to your doctor about your risk.

The CDC recommends everyone get HIV tests.

Syphilis test Get tested if you are pregnant or at increased risk for infection. Get tested if you are at increased risk.