Health Screenings for Men in Their 40s

Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
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Maintaining your health in your 40s is a lot like performing preventative maintenance on your car. Tasks like changing the oil and getting a tune-up can prevent major mechanical problems down the road. Like cars, people need preventative check-ups, too. Health experts have created a schedule of necessary screening tests at every age. Undergoing recommended screening tests during your 40s might help in preventing certain diseases and conditions well into your 50s and beyond. 

Between our 30s and 40s, our health can start changing just from the natural process of aging. Blood pressure and cholesterol screenings become even more important to our heart health as we get older. Even if you didn’t follow screening recommendations in your 20s and 30s, remember it’s never too late to start talking to your doctor about these standard tests:

Physical Examination

A check-up every two years in your 40s allows your doctor to assess your overall health. During this appointment, your doctor may ask about your personal and family medical history to determine your risk of certain diseases and conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease

Blood Pressure Screening

A blood pressure screening is one of the most important screening tests you can have in your 40s. The good news is it’s easy, painless, and takes just a few minutes to receive the results. An added plus is you only have to be checked every two years, unless your doctor suggests more frequent screenings. 

The targeted healthy blood pressure is 120/80. Higher readings indicate high blood pressure, or hypertension. Most people with high blood pressure do not have any symptoms, so it’s important to have regular screenings to reduce your risk of a stroke and heart attack in the future. 

Cholesterol Screening

Since it’s nearly impossible to tell if you have unhealthy cholesterol levels without being screened, a cholesterol test plays an important part in cardiovascular disease prevention. A cholesterol screening checks your levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. A simple blood draw at a lab or your doctor’s office is all that’s required, and results are usually available in a few days. For optimum cardiovascular health, have a cholesterol screening every five years, or as directed by your doctor. 

Diabetes Screening

If you have high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol levels, your doctor may want you have a Type 2 diabetes screening. By measuring blood sugar levels from a blood sample, your doctor can confirm a diagnosis or tell you if you’re at risk to develop the disease.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Colon cancer rates in men and women younger than 50 have been rising, and experts now recommend screening for colorectal cancer beginning at age 45. (The prior recommendation was to start at age 50 if you are of average risk of developing this form of cancer.) Screening may include a colonoscopy every 10 years or more frequent screening using other types of tests, such as a stool test. If you have risk factors for colon cancer, such as a family history of colon cancer, you may want to start screening even earlier.

Dental Exam

For healthy gums and teeth, see your dentist every six months for an exam and cleaning. During the exam, your dentist will look for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. A regular cleaning also removes plaque and tartar from your teeth and prevents plaque from building up in-between cleanings. 

Eye Exam

Even if you have perfect vision, a comprehensive eye exam every two years can help keep your eyes healthy. While vision is a priority, your eye doctor also looks for signs of eye diseases and conditions that may not have early symptoms, such as glaucoma.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2020 Dec 10
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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
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  2. Get Preventative Tests: Healthy Men. Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality.
  3. How to Get Your Cholesterol Tested. American Heart Association.
  4. Screening for Colorectal Cancer. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.