For Father’s Day, some dads get cards or homemade gifts. This Father’s Day, consider getting a health screening including a blood test, colonoscopy, or vaccination.
Not what you had in mind for June 20? That’s understandable, but being the “World’s Best Dad,” starts with good health for you and your family, and good health starts with preventative screenings.
Starting at the age of 40, it is important for men to prioritize their health with an annual physical to assess for health risks and to update their vaccinations.
Annual exams usually consist of blood pressure checks, weigh-ins to determine body mass index (BMI) and an assessment of whether any blood work, diagnostic tests, or vaccinations are needed.
Routine checkups can give people peace of mind that they are healthy to continue enjoying life or identify a problem at its earliest and most treatable stage.
The pandemic taught us just how important it is to stay on top of our health. More men died of COVID-19 than women, in part because they had more underlying conditions that could have been minimized with regular preventable health screenings. The pandemic also delayed preventative screenings for many people who chose not to visit their doctors during the early stages of the pandemic.
With cases on the decline and a majority of Orange County vaccinated, now is the time to come back in for the screenings that can make all the difference to a person’s health.
Blood pressure is a good indication of health and can be particularly revealing of a person’s risk of heart disease or stroke. Men over the age of 40 should have their blood pressure checked every year, and those with high blood pressure or who are at risk of developing high blood pressure should have their blood pressure checked more frequently.
High cholesterol is another health warning sign. Starting at age 18, men at average risk for heart disease should have a cholesterol screening every five years. People with a family history of high cholesterol or heart attacks, smokers and people who are overweight may need more frequent testing.
People over the age of 18 with a body mass index above 25, are encouraged to be screened for diabetes. It is possible to develop type 2 diabetes and prediabetes without noticeable symptoms, but regular blood screening can help identify a risk before it is too late. Men concerned about their risk can speak to their physician or reach out directly to Hoag’s Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center for more information.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently updated its guidelines to start screening for colorectal cancer at age 45. If you have a close relative with a history of colon cancer, screening may need to start earlier. Individual risk and screening should be discussed with your primary care physician.
Congratulations on being the “World’s Greatest Dad” and hold on to that title by scheduling your preventative health exams. The people in your life might express their love with cards and gadgets. You can express your love back by taking control of your health.