Getting regular health checks is just as important in older adulthood as it is when you’re a child. Though aging may increase your risk of developing chronic conditions and other health problems, being over 60 isn’t a guarantee for poor health.

Preventive care, including screenings and testing, can help catch problems before they get worse. Here are the milestone medical tests to consider getting as you age.

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. High blood pressure is considered higher than 120/80. Consider talking with a doctor if you’re noticing high or abnormally low readings.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends women over age 65 with typical bone mass or mild bone loss get a test every 15 years. 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. Healthy adults should check their cholesterol at least every 4 to 6 years, a requirement that doesn’t increase with age.

If you’re between the ages of 45 and 75, or over 75 and in good health, you should consider getting screened for colorectal cancer every 10 years, says James Tabibian, MD, PhD, FACP, a gastroenterologist and professor at UCLA’s medical school.

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

Fecal occult testing looks for blood in the stool, which can be a potential sign of colon cancer. The test doesn’t determine the cause of the bleeding, though. Doctors may order this test yearly to screen for colon cancer, but it’s not a replacement for a colonoscopy.

As you age, you’re more likely to experience hearing loss. Between 20–40% of people over age 50 have hearing loss, which jumps to 80% for those over 80. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association recommends getting a hearing test every 3 years after age 50.

You might think that once you hit 50, you’re done with pap smears. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends screening for women until age 65. After that, the risk of developing cervical cancer decreases. Your doctor may still recommend screening after 65, depending on whether you’ve had a hysterectomy or have a history of fibroids.

You should have annual screenings to check for kidney disease if you’re over 60. A simple urine test that checks for protein in your urine can detect early signs of kidney damage. Your doctor can also order blood tests to check your kidney function.

According to the American Cancer Society, 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.

Older Black males have the highest risk of prostate cancer. Males with a family history of prostate cancer are also at risk for developing this type of cancer. If you’re between 55 and 69, talk with a doctor about your screening options.

Older adults, particularly males over 50, have an increased risk of skin cancer because they’re less likely to use sun protection.

The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends regular self-checks and visits with a dermatologist to address any noticeable skin changes, like moles or marks that change shape or color or start to hurt or bother you.

Even if you’ve had perfect vision all your life, you can still develop conditions like cataracts and glaucoma as you age. If you’re over age 60, you should get yearly eye exams, especially if you have 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.

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

Talk 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.