health-check-men.jpgMaintaining good overall health is crucial to preventing disease and reducing risk of adult-onset conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Men should get regular health screenings to ensure optimal health. Here are the most important health screenings for men and how often screenings should take place.

Blood Pressure

Blood pressure screenings should take place at least every year. Often, children have blood pressure taken during well and sick check-ups. After well-child visits fade and children become teens and adults, regular screenings tend to become less of a priority. It is important to maintain blood pressure screenings to detect problems with high blood pressure early.


Cholesterol is a sticky substance that collects in your arteries. As men age, high bad cholesterol, known as LDL or low-density lipoprotein, may raise causing arterial blockage. If too much bad cholesterol builds up in arteries, heart disease can occur. Starting at about age 20, men should have regular cholesterol screenings every five years. If a test comes back negative (high bad cholesterol) your doctor may suggest screenings every year or even every six months.

Diabetes Screening

Age, weight, diet habits, genetics and activity level all contribute to your overall risk of developing type 2 (adult onset) diabetes. Men who have a family history of diabetes, elevated blood pressure and those who are overweight are at increased risk of diabetes. Diabetes screenings should start at age 45 if there is no familial history or personal risk factors for type 2 diabetes. If risk factors are present, screening for diabetes should be started before the age of 45, as suggested by your physician. You should have regular diabetes screenings at least every three years.

Colon Screening

Cases of colon cancer are on the rise, but early detection can cure the condition in 90-percent of cases. Early detection requires regular colon screenings called colonoscopies. Typically colon screenings start at age 50 if there are no familial cases of colon cancer, but if one or more family members have been diagnosed with colon cancer, screening may start much earlier.

Prostate Screening

Prostate cancer is a very real and very serious health risk for men. Prostate screening typically involves a doctor palpating the prostate during a rectal exam. Many men fear the exam and thus put off prostate screening due to this fear. If prostate swelling or abnormalities are detected during the digital exam, treatment can be lifesaving. Prostate exams start around age 50 if there are no other symptoms of swollen prostate, including difficulty urinating. If a man experiencing difficulty urinating before age 50, prostate screenings may begin earlier.