It can be difficult to make time to see the doctor, especially if you feel you are well. Regular health assessments are important as they can identify early signs of health issues. Early care increases your chances of effective treatment and reduces risk of developing health issues as we age.
Once you reach your 40s there are several recommended health checks, depending on your overall health. Most healthy people in their 40s should have:
• A blood glucose test every 3 years
• A blood pressure check every 2 years
• Their cholesterol and lipids checked every 5 years
• A heart disease risk assessment every 2 years (from 45 years)
• Regular skin cancer checks for those at high risk
• A cervical screening test every 5 years (women)
• A dental check-up every year
• An eye test every 2 years
If you have risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing a chronic disease, your doctor may recommend more frequent checks. These risk factors include:
• Smoking, physical inactivity, poor nutrition or excessive alcohol
• High cholesterol, high blood pressure, impaired glucose metabolism or excess weight
• Family history of chronic disease e.g. diabetes or heart disease
At Your Appointment
During your health assessment appointment, nurses will assist your doctor in collecting and updating information for your file. This may include:
• Checking your height, weight and measuring your waist circumference
• Performing an ECG (electrocardiogram), which measures the electrical activity of your heart
• Spirometry, a lung function test which measures the amount and speed of air that can be exhaled
• Checking your blood sugar levels and blood pressure
• Discuss your activity levels and dietary habits
• Update your file with your family medical history
Your doctor will review the information collected and discuss your health goals and advise you on areas to improve.
In some cases, the health assessments may also attract a Medicare rebate so please discuss your eligibility with your regular GP. If you do not have one, then make an appointment with one of our experienced after hours Doctors who can help get you on the right track.