Preventive care, such as medical tests and screens, may help doctors catch health issues before they worsen. These may look for signs of cancer and assess your blood pressure, hearing, and kidney function.

Getting older may increase your risk of developing chronic conditions and other health problems.

Being over 60 isn’t a guarantee for poor health. However, it’s estimated that by age 80, nearly 90% of adults in the United States will have at least one chronic condition.

Some age-related diseases that older adults are more likely to develop include:

  • hearing and vision loss
  • impaired immunity function
  • hypertension
  • cardiovascular disease
  • osteoarthritis
  • osteoporosis
  • cancer

Milestone medical tests during your 60s, 70s, and beyond may help you prevent health problems or slow down their progression.

Keep reading to learn more about these tests.

Infographic: "Medical tests you should take in your 60s 70s and beyond"Share on Pinterest
Illustrations by Maya Chastain

Older adults should check their blood pressure regularly at home.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 48.1% of adults in the United States have high blood pressure. But, only 1 in 4 of these people have it under control.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, may put you at greater risk of stroke and heart disease. Hypertension is when your blood pressure reading is at or higher than 130/80 mmHg.

Speak with a doctor if you’re noticing high or abnormally low readings.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends people over age 65 with typical bone mass or mild bone loss get a bone density test every 15 years.

A bone density test is important to help diagnose osteoporosis.

Consider more frequent scanning if you’ve had a previous abnormal test result or take medications that may impact bone density.

A genetic predisposition to diabetes is the biggest risk factor for high cholesterol and warrants regular cholesterol screening.

If left untreated, high blood cholesterol levels may gradually cause plaque to build up in your arteries. This may lead to life-threatening complications.

The CDC suggests that most adults should check their cholesterol at least every 4 to 6 years, a requirement that doesn’t increase with age. However, if you have diabetes or heart disease, you may need to get it checked more often.

A colonoscopy is a medical examination that looks for abnormalities or diseases in your colon. It may help doctors diagnose colorectal cancer, ulcers, and polyps.

It’s recommended to get screened for colorectal cancer every 10 years between the ages of 45 and 75. Colorectal cancer in the United States is most common in older adults aged 65 to 74.

If you’re in one of the following high-risk groups, you may want to consider more frequent screening:

  • you have a family history of colon cancer
  • you have obesity or diabetes
  • you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • you’re a smoker

Fecal occult testing looks for blood in the stool, which may be a sign of colorectal cancer. However, the test doesn’t determine the cause of the bleeding.

A doctor may order this test yearly to screen for colorectal cancer, but it’s not a replacement for a colonoscopy.

As you age, you’re more likely to experience hearing loss. Nearly 33% of people between the ages of 65 and 74 in the United States have hearing loss. This jumps to 50% for those over 75.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association recommends getting a hearing test every 3 years after age 50.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI), with nearly 43 million infections every year.

There are 13 types of HPV infections that may cause cervical cancer. Approximately 10% of HPV infections may lead to cervical cancer in females.

It’s recommended that females get screened for cervical cancer every 3-5 years until age 65. This may include HPV and pap smear tests.

You should have annual kidney function tests to check for kidney disease if you’re over 60.

It’s estimated that 50% of people over 75 have kidney disease.

A simple urine test that checks for protein in your urine could detect early signs of kidney damage. A doctor may also order blood tests to check your kidney function.

The American Cancer Society suggests that people with breasts should start getting mammograms at age 40, and those over 55 should have them every 2 years.

You may opt for more frequent testing if you have a family history of breast cancer or have previously had breast cancer.

It’s estimated that 13% of males in the United States could be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Your chances of developing prostate cancer increase as you get older.

If you’re between ages 55 and 69, speak with a doctor about prostate screening options.

Older adults, particularly males over 50, have an increased risk of being diagnosed with skin cancer.

Screening options for skin cancer may include self-check methods or visiting a dermatologist. They’ll be able to help you address any noticeable skin changes. These typically include moles or marks that change shape or color, or start to bother you.

Even if you’ve had perfect vision all your life, you may still develop conditions like cataracts and glaucoma as you age. The American Optometric Association recommends that people over age 60 get an eye examination every year, especially if they have hypertension or diabetes.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends a one-time screening if you’re a male between 65 to 75 years old with a history of smoking or a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm.

What blood tests should a 70-year-old have?

Blood tests may help doctors find signs of several health conditions and diseases in adults over age 70.

Some of these tests may include:

How often should a 70-year-old have blood work done?

How often individuals get blood tests varies for each person. It may largely depend on whether you have a health condition or disease that needs to be monitored.

It’s best to speak with a doctor to determine how often you should get bloodwork done if you’re 70 or over.

You might not need testing for everything on this list, but regular health checks may help you keep tabs on your overall health and tackle problems before they get worse.

Speak with a doctor about your testing options and whether you’re a candidate for more frequent testing because of your lifestyle factors or family history.