Wednesday 11 August 2021

Basic Health Screening Tests for Adults

basic health screening for adults

 Basic health screening tests are tests your healthcare provider recommends to identify any undetected disease or conditions. The goal is to discover diseases that can be easily treated if found on time. Getting screened is one of the most important things you can do for your health.

Health screening  tests are recommended based on  some criteria:

  • The condition has an early stage during which symptoms may not be obvious but early detection and treatment will significantly improve the outcomes.
  • An acceptable treatment is available for the condition.
  • It affects the person's life expectancy and quality of life.
  • A simple and affordable screening test for the condition is available.
  • It is a common public health problem.

Basic Health Screening Tests

Blood Pressure Screening

You can get your blood pressure checked during any routine medical visit. After measuring your blood pressure, your doctor can ask you to check it at home. This is because your blood pressure can change throughout the day. And sometimes, it's high only because you are seeing a doctor. 

To diagnose high blood pressure, your doctor needs to know if is high throughout the day. Your doctor can let you know how often you should check your blood pressure. It may depend on factors such as your blood pressure, your risk for heart disease, if you are 40 and over, and if you are obese.

Please note that any high blood pressure discovered by using an automated blood pressure testing device at home or in a pharmacy may not be accurate. A diagnosis of hypertension should be confirmed by your doctor or a health professional.

Read: What do your blood pressure numbers mean? 

Diabetes Screening

Type 2 Diabetes is a common disease worldwide. However, only about a third of the people affected know they have the condition because often there are no symptoms.  Early screening can help people avoid complications of this disease like damage to the kidneys, heart, and blood vessels.

According to the American Diabetes Association, screening for diabetes should be done at three-year intervals beginning at age 45, especially for people who are overweight or obese.

If there are other risk factors such as a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol among others, screening should be done at an earlier age and more frequently.

Read: Diabetes, 5 warning signs you shouldn't ignore


Cholesterol/lipid profile

Cholesterol is a substance found in the body. It is used to produce Vit D, some hormones, and cell membranes. Cholesterol is transported in the bloodstream in spherical particles called lipoproteins. The two common lipoproteins are low-density lipoproteins "LDL" or bad cholesterol and high-density.
 lipoprotein "HDL" or good cholesterol. 

Cholesterol screening is done with a blood sample. Studies have shown that people with high cholesterol have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease than others. This risk can be reduced by lowering their cholesterol.


A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast. It is used to check for early signs of breast cancer. The American College of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians recommend that women who are 40 and above should have a mammogram every one to two years. 

The  American Cancer Society recommends regular screening from age 45. If you have a personal or family history of breast cancer, your doctor may recommend earlier and more frequent screenings.

Pap Smear 

This is a test used to screen for cervical cancer. The procedure is about collecting cells from your cervix which is the lower end of your uterus on top of your vagina. These cells are then tested to see if they are cancerous or abnormal cells that can lead to cancer.

It is recommended to get a pap smear every three years from the age of 21. The frequency of the pap smear can differ for women with low immunity or a history of cancer/precancerous cells.


Colonoscopy screens for colorectal cancer. Most colorectal cancer develops over several years. This cancer usually begins as a non-cancerous polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum.

These polyps generally do not cause problems. But, sometimes, they may progress to cancer. When they are discovered during screening and removed, it prevents cancer from developing.

Getting screened can save your life. However, the type of screening and how frequently you do them depends on your risk factors, age, and overall health profile. Be sure to consult your healthcare provider to determine the right tests you need.

True Health Corner. Theme by STS.