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Why do people 50 and older need a cholesterol screening?

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Heart disease is one of the top causes of death in the U.S. One of its main risk factors is high cholesterol. After you turn 20, you should start getting your cholesterol tested at least once every 4 to 6 years. A simple blood test shows your levels and risk for heart disease.

As you age, your risk for heart disease goes up. If you’re in your 50s, it's important to keep getting screened.

SOURCES:

AARP: "What Health Screenings Do You Really Need if You Are Over Age 50?"

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: "Women: Stay Healthy at 50+."

American Diabetes Association: "Diabetes Statistics."

American Psychological Association: "Aging and Depression."

American Heart Association.

American Cancer Society.

CDC: "Leading Causes of Death."

National Cancer Institute: "General Information About Colon Cancer."

National Institute of Mental Health: "Older Adults: Depression and Suicide Facts (Fact Sheet)."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Prevent Cancer Foundation: "Frequently Asked Questions: Exactly what is a 'pre-cancerous' polyp? If the polyp is removed, does that mean I am cured?"

John Hopkins University: "Cervical Cancer."

CDC.

American Cancer Society: “Colorectal Cancer Screening Tests.”

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: “Osteoporosis: Screening.”

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: “Screening for Colorectal Cancer: Consumer Guide.”

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 17, 2018

SOURCES:

AARP: "What Health Screenings Do You Really Need if You Are Over Age 50?"

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: "Women: Stay Healthy at 50+."

American Diabetes Association: "Diabetes Statistics."

American Psychological Association: "Aging and Depression."

American Heart Association.

American Cancer Society.

CDC: "Leading Causes of Death."

National Cancer Institute: "General Information About Colon Cancer."

National Institute of Mental Health: "Older Adults: Depression and Suicide Facts (Fact Sheet)."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Prevent Cancer Foundation: "Frequently Asked Questions: Exactly what is a 'pre-cancerous' polyp? If the polyp is removed, does that mean I am cured?"

John Hopkins University: "Cervical Cancer."

CDC.

American Cancer Society: “Colorectal Cancer Screening Tests.”

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: “Osteoporosis: Screening.”

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: “Screening for Colorectal Cancer: Consumer Guide.”

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 17, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

How often should women 50 and older get screened for breast cancer?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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