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    50+: Live Better, Longer

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    Top 10 Preventive Care Tips at Ages 50+

    You only get one body and you want to keep it in good shape. Getting older shouldn't mean you slow down. One of the best ways to stay on the move is with preventive health care.

    These key screenings and tests can help your doctor find medical problems early -- before they cause bigger problems.

    Did You Know?

    Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will cover preventive care services, including checkups, vaccinations and screening tests, at no cost to you. Learn more.

    Health Insurance Center

    Don’t let the cost keep you from having these tests. Most health plans, including Medicare, pay for preventive procedures. Your doctor can help make the case and may be able to direct you to free or low-cost programs.

    1. Blood pressure check: High blood pressure can cause a heart attack, a stroke, and eye and kidney problems. You may not know your blood pressure is high. That’s why it’s important to get your blood pressure checked.

    If it’s lower than 120/80, once every 2 years is usually fine. If your blood pressure is higher, your doctor will likely want to check it more often.

    2. Cholesterol screening: Heart disease is the top cause of death in the U.S. One of its main risk factors is high cholesterol.

    You should start getting your cholesterol tested at least once every 4 to 6 years starting at age 20. It’s done through a simple blood test.

    Your chance of getting heart disease goes up as you age. If you’re in your 50s, it's very important to continue getting checked.

    3. Mammogram: This is the best way to find breast cancer early. There's some debate about how often you should get one.

    The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends all women between ages 50 and 74 have a mammogram once every 2 years. The American Cancer Society says if you’re 45 and older, you should have one each year.

    Talk with your doctor to figure out the best schedule for you, based on your family history and other risk factors.

    4. Colon cancer screening test: Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. After 50, your chance of getting it increases. So unless you're at above-average risk, age 50 is when your doctor may recommend you start getting checked.

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