Preventative Care for Certain Populations

Often people will only visit their physician when they feel ill or the symptoms of an illness.

Even though it is important to visit the doctor when you are ill, visiting your physician when you are healthy is equally as important. Several serious health issues can easily be avoided if you are practicing preventative health care.

This type of health care can shift into many different forms. A common form of preventative health care is visiting your primary care provider for a yearly checkup. While you are with your doctor, he or she can perform different tests to understand your general health.

Most patients ultimately find out they have a serious health problem during these yearly checkups. It is also possible to stay away from severe medical conditions by paying attention to the signals in the body and changing lifestyle habits to better physical health. When an opportunity presents itself, it is always a better option to use preventative health care to avoid illness.

Stopping regular checkups to wait for an illness to show up is never a good option. Even with impressive health care, there are still illnesses and conditions that can create permanent damage if consistent care is not applied. These severe conditions are also typically more expensive to treat as well.

The Focus of Preventative Health Care

There are different areas of preventative health care that are measured. The main reasons for preventative health care are as follows:

  • Examining your body for potential health issues
  • Assessing the possibility of future medical problems
  • Reviewing lifestyle habits and incorporating changes
  • Remaining current with immunizations
  • Developing a good relationship with your doctor in order to feel secure in the case of a severe medical emergency

To continue this topic, preventative health care can be narrowed down further, made to accommodate certain populations. The age groups include adult men and women and children. For the most part, the health care procedures between the age groups are similar, but because of the age difference, the doctor will focus on varying areas.

Therefore, preventative health care will change depending on the age, gender and lifestyle of the individual. If there are currently any pre-existing health problems, then this factor can vary the frequency in doctor’s visits.

What kind of preventative care do women receive?

The preventative methods for women are typically similar to those of men. For instance, some similar screening tests that men and women can both benefit from are blood pressure tests, cholesterol level tests and diabetes screening tests. Pregnant women or women who are trying to conceive will receive more preventative health care screenings.

It is important that pregnant women attend all of their preventative care appointments. Women in this specific circumstance should consider the screenings they will take before having their child. They not only will go through medical screenings, but nutritional screenings as well. After childbirth, it is still important for women to go to their regular health screenings.

Besides pregnancy, there are other female-specific preventative health care screenings. At 21 years old, professionals recommend visiting the doctor for a pap smear test every three years to test for cervical cancer. After turning 40, women are encouraged to go through mammography screening every one to two years to detect breast cancer.

What kind of preventative care do men receive?

The most fundamental yet essential form of preventative health care for men is undergoing the blood pressure test every three to five years. If you are a man with a history of blood pressure problems, then it is vital to schedule a blood pressure test more frequently, generally every year.

Most physicians will suggest using the systolic number located at the top of a blood pressure test. The systolic pressure should stay between 120 and 139. The number located at the bottom of the test is known as the diastolic number and the normal pressure number should be between 80 and 89. You should be screened for this at least once a year.

Another male-specific health care procedure is every five years to have a cholesterol screening. A diabetes screening is also recommended which is typically completed with the blood pressure exam. Testicular exams and colon cancer screenings are also important for men who are aging.

Mental health issues can develop in children, and although it can be difficult to detect, it is essential to conduct these screenings. Men should also become involved in common forms of preventative care like going to their dentist appointments and receiving their regular eye exams.

Types of Preventative Care for Children

Most procedures for children are done in the earliest years. The procedures for children are very different from adults. There is only a slight difference in procedures between male and female child patients. The earliest health care tests happen when the child is born. Once the child has reached 18 to 24 months, the child will undergo behavioral assessment and autism screening.

Preventative care for children will focus their development such as getting their vision and hearing checked. Personal preventative care is important like instilling healthy lifestyle habits. Medical professionals recently have placed emphasis on children receiving a healthy diet and enough exercise to avoid childhood obesity. Dental care is also an important part of developmental health care. This can prevent future cavities and other oral health problems.

The bilirubin screening is also an important screening used to detect early liver damage, disease or anemia as well as other liver-related health problems in children. The conditions checked on these screenings can become serious and more difficult to treat if not found early.

Available Preventative Health Care Benefits

The biggest problem for many in America is the insurance coverage for these procedures. Currently, all marketplace health insurance plans in America must have coverage for fundamental preventative health care exams. The following screenings are considered basic preventative screenings:

  • Blood pressure and cholesterol screening
  • Alcohol misuse screening and counseling
  • Depressing screening
  • Diet counseling and obesity screening
  • Access to immunizations and vaccines
  • HIV screening
  • Colorectal cancer screening for adults between the ages of 50 and 75