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Prevention Guidelines, Women Ages 65 and Older

Screening tests and vaccines are an important part of managing your health. Health counseling is essential, too.

On this page are guidelines for women, aged 65 and older.

Talk with your healthcare provider to make sure you’re up-to-date on what you need.

Screening

  • Screening
    Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes
  • Who needs it?
    All adults beginning at age 45 and adults without symptoms at any age who are overweight or obese and have 1 or more additional risk factors for diabetes
  • How often?
    At least every 3 years
  • Screening
    Alcohol misuse
  • Who needs it?
    All women in this age group
  • How often?
    At routine exams

  • Screening
    Blood pressure
  • Who needs it?
    All women in this age group
  • How often?
    Every 2 years if your blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg; yearly if your systolic blood pressure is 120 to 139 mm Hg, or your diastolic blood pressure reading is 80 to 89 mm Hg
  • Screening
    Breast cancer
  • Who needs it?
    All women in this age group
  • How often?
    Yearly mammogram and clinical breast exam

  • Screening
    Cervical cancer
  • Who needs it?
    Only women who had abnormal screening results before age 65
  • How often?
    Talk with your healthcare provider
  • Screening
    Chlamydia
  • Who needs it?
    Women at increased risk for infection
  • How often?
    At routine exams

  • Screening
    Colorectal cancer
  • Who needs it?
    All women in this age group
  • How often?
    Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or colonoscopy every 10 years, or double-contrast barium enema every 5 years; yearly fecal occult blood test or fecal immunochemical test; or a stool DNA test as often as your healthcare provider advises; talk with your healthcare provider about which tests are best for you
  • Screening
    Depression
  • Who needs it?
    All women in this age group
  • How often?
    At routine exams

  • Screening
    Gonorrhea
  • Who needs it?
    Sexually active women at increased risk for infection
  • How often?
    At routine exams
  • Screening
    Hepatitis C
  • Who needs it?
    Anyone at increased risk; 1 time for those born between 1945 and 1965
  • How often?
    At routine exams

  • Screening
    High cholesterol or triglycerides
  • Who needs it?
    All women in this age group who are at risk for coronary artery disease
  • How often?
    At least every 5 years
  • Screening
    HIV
  • Who needs it?
    Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider
  • How often?
    At routine exams

  • Screening
    Lung cancer
  • Who needs it?
    Adults age 55 to 80 who have smoked
  • How often?
    Yearly screening in smokers with 30 pack-year history of smoking or who quit within 15 years
  • Screening
    Obesity
  • Who needs it?
    All women in this age group
  • How often?
    At routine exams

  • Screening
    Osteoporosis
  • Who needs it?
    All women in this age group
  • How often?
    Bone density test at age 65, then follow-up as advised by your healthcare provider
  • Screening
    Syphilis
  • Who needs it?
    Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider
  • How often?
    At routine exams

  • Screening
    Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
  • Who needs it?
    All women in this age group
  • How often?
    Every 5 years
  • Screening
    Tuberculosis
  • Who needs it?
    Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider
  • How often?
    Ask your healthcare provider

  • Screening
    Vision
  • Who needs it?
    All women in this age group
  • How often?
    Every 1 to 2 years; if you have a chronic health condition, ask your healthcare provider if you need exams more often

Counseling

  • Counseling
    Diet and exercise
  • Who needs it?
    Women who are overweight or obese
  • How often?
    When diagnosed, and then at routine exams
  • Counseling
    Fall prevention (exercise and vitamin D supplements)
  • Who needs it?
    All women in this age group
  • How often?
    At routine exams

  • Counseling
    Sexually transmitted infection prevention
  • Who needs it?
    Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider
  • How often?
    At routine exams
  • Counseling
    Use of daily aspirin
  • Who needs it?
    Women ages 55 and up in this age group who are at risk for cardiovascular health problems such as stroke
  • How often?
    When your risk is known

  • Counseling
    Use of tobacco and the health effects it can cause
  • Who needs it?
    All women in this age group
  • How often?
    Every visit

Vaccines

  • Vaccine
    Chickenpox (varicella)
  • Who needs it?
    All women in this age group who have no record of this infection or vaccine
  • How often?
    2 doses; second dose should be given at least 4 weeks after the first dose
  • Vaccine
    Hepatitis A
  • Who needs it?
    Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider
  • How often?
    2 doses given 6 months apart

  • Vaccine
    Hepatitis B
  • Who needs it?
    Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider
  • How often?
    3 doses over 6 months; second dose should be given 1 month after the first dose; the third dose should be given at least 2 months after the second dose and at least 4 months after the first dose
  • Vaccine
    Haemophilus influenza Type B (HIB)
  • Who needs it?
    Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider
  • How often?
    1 to 3 doses

  • Vaccine
    Influenza (flu)
  • Who needs it?
    All women in this age group
  • How often?
    Once a year
  • Vaccine
    Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23)
  • Who needs it?
    All women in this age group
  • How often?
    1 dose of each vaccine

  • Vaccine
    Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Td/Tdap) booster
  • Who needs it?
    All women in this age group
  • How often?
    Td every 10 years, or a one-time dose of Tdap instead of a Td booster after age 18, then Td every 10 years
  • Vaccine
    Zoster
  • Who needs it?
    All women in this age group
  • How often?
    1 dose

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