Men's Health Concerns by the Decades
The basic health message for anyone is the same – eat a healthy diet, don’t smoke, stay fit and limit alcohol consumption. As you get older, there are some specific things you should look out for. Find your decade and then keep your story strong by caring for your health.
Age 20s: Lay the foundation now for a healthier life later.
- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that men aged 20 to 35 get checked for lipid disorders if they’re at an increased risk for coronary heart disease.
- Regularly check with your primary care doctor for a health assessment even if you feel well.
- Get regularly checked for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Maintain healthy sleep habits and achieve 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
- Drink responsibly and avoid binge drinking.
- Consume a nutrient-rich diet and avoid junk food. Incorporate veggies into your meals.
- Perform a monthly testicular self-examination to check for unusual hard lumps, swelling, soreness or other changes.
- Exercise regularly.
Age 30s: Prepare yourself for changes in your health.
- The USPSTF recommends that men 35 years old and older get checked for lipid disorders.
- Starting at 35 years old, get your cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked every five years.
- Get health screenings for diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Maintain healthy habits like a high-fiber diet, getting regular exercise and sleeping 7 to 9 hours every night.
- Get regular dental and eye checkups.
- Keep getting immunizations yearly, including flu shots.
- Regularly check your weight to ensure you’re within a healthy range.
Age 40s: Anticipate health transitions and be ready for them.
- The USPSTF recommends screening for colorectal cancer beginning at age 45.
- Talk with a doctor about heart disease risk and prevention measures.
- Maintain a body mass index (BMI) below 25.
- Limit high-fat meals containing saturated fats and trans fats.
- Exercise for at least 20 minutes a day.
- Maintain regular eye and dental checkups.
- Continue regular cholesterol, blood sugar and other health screenings.
Age 50s: Take care of your health and well-being.
- USPSTF recommends getting a vaccine for shingles (herpes zoster) at or after 50 years old.
- Get a hepatitis B vaccine if you did not receive 2, 3 or 4 doses in your younger years until age 59.
- Ask your doctor if you need screening for lung cancer if you’re 50 to 80 years old, especially if you have a 20-pack-year smoking history and are currently smoking or have quit in the past 15 years.
- Periodic prostate-specific antigen-based screening for prostate cancer may be recommended for men 55 to 69 years old. Talk to your doctor about the potential benefits and risks of the screening, along with your preferences.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day to help maintain your physical strength, energy and libido.
- Schedule a colonoscopy as needed based on your doctor’s recommendation.
- Get a physical exam. A checkup at least every two years establishes baselines so your doctor can watch for important changes.
- Ask your doctor about an electrocardiogram (EKG). Cardiovascular disease accounts for as many as one of every three deaths in the U.S.
Age 60s: Step up your health game.
- Consume enough vitamins. You may need to take supplements for essential vitamins such as vitamins B and D.
- Stay hydrated and add fiber to your diet to help protect against colon polyps, a common condition for people over 60.
- Get moderate-intensity exercise for 150 minutes per week to help lower your risk of developing coronary artery disease.
- Get recommended cancer screenings—your chances of getting cancer increase with age.
- Stay vaccinated. Shingles, pneumonia and flu vaccines may be helpful as you’re more vulnerable to catching these illnesses.
Age 70s: Embrace the aging process.
- Get your skin tags removed by a doctor. They will use freezing or cauterizing techniques.
- See your urologist to get your prostate checked for any issues.
- Defy cognitive decline. Exercise, intellectual stimulation and social interaction can help keep you sharp.
- Refuse to live with joint pain. Joint replacement surgery may be necessary and is quite common, with relatively quick recovery times.
- Get your eyes checked so doctors may provide you with options to help improve your vision.
Stay healthy and remember to have some fun – whatever your decade!
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Baylor Scott & White Health
UMPC Health Beat
Urology Care Foundation
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program