Preventive Care: Men’s Health Screenings by Age


As the age-old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That’s especially true when it comes to preventive care. Catching health issues in their earliest, most treatable stages can help to ward off more serious complications down the road. 

Yet, many US adults let preventive care fall through the cracks, including men who sometimes feel like they’re invincible. According to a Cleveland Clinic Survey, 44% of men don’t get yearly physicals, approximately 50% aren’t getting vital cancer screenings, and just 51% say they maintain a healthy diet.  

Since June is Men’s Health Month, we wanted to shed light on the importance of staying on top of your health through regular screenings. Here are the essential men’s health screenings by age in each decade of life. 

In Your 20s and 30s

While it may be tempting to delay preventive health care until you’re older, it’s important to get these baseline men’s health screenings in your 20s and 30s: 

  • Blood Glucose: While the number of people with type 2 diabetes is rising, men are more likely to develop it at a younger age and at a lower level of body fat than women—so it’s important to begin blood glucose screenings early. This is especially true if you have a family history of diabetes or risk factors such as being overweight.
  • Blood Pressure: Men tend to develop high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease at younger ages than women. Since high blood pressure (hypertension) typically has no symptoms, it’s important to get your levels checked regularly.
  • Cholesterol Panel: Elevated cholesterol levels can increase your risk of heart disease. Therefore, every adult should get regular cholesterol panels, including HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol.
  • Testicular Exams: Getting regular exams by your health care provider, along with performing monthly self-checks, can help to detect testicular cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages.
  • Thyroid Function: Experts recommend all adults get their thyroid function measured beginning at age 35 and again every five years if no abnormalities are detected.

In Your 40s

Health screenings for men in their 40s should include all the screenings mentioned above, along with the following tests:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG): Starting in your 40s, your provider may want to do a baseline EKG to detect any abnormalities with your heart rhythm. 
  • Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA): This test measures the level of PSA in your blood, which can indicate prostate health issues, including prostate cancer. 
  • Colonoscopy: Colonoscopies examine the lining of your colon for polyps or signs of cancer. Latest guidelines advise everyone get this screening at age 45, or sooner if there’s a family history of colon cancer. If no abnormalities are found, it is typically repeated every 10 years.
  • Testosterone: Testosterone levels can begin to decline in your 40s. Symptoms of low-T can include fatigue, reduced libido, and mood changes. Regular testosterone screenings can help to determine if your levels are in the normal range. 

In Your 50s and Beyond

In addition to the above screenings, in your 50s and 60s your health care provider will typically add the following tests to your preventive care: 

  • Bone Density Test (DEXA Scan): Bone density screenings for osteoporosis are normally recommended for men ages 70 and over, with screenings beginning as early as age 50 if other risk factors are present. 
  • Digital Rectal Exam: In addition to testing your PSA levels, many health care providers will begin performing digital rectal exams beginning at age 55.
  • Cognitive Function Tests: Unless you have symptoms, providers typically begin screenings for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease beginning at age 65.

Stay Healthy at Every Age

As Men’s Health Month reminds us, by staying on top of your screenings, you can stay healthy and active in every decade of life. Just keep this list handy to share with your health care provider at your next checkup.