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Prevention Guidelines for Men 65+

Screening tests and vaccines are an important part of managing your health. A screening test is done to find diseases in people who don't have any symptoms. The goal is to find a disease early so lifestyle changes and checkups can reduce the risk of disease. Or the goal may be to find it early to treat it most effectively. Screening tests are not used to diagnose a disease. But they are used to see if more testing is needed. Health counseling is important, too. Below are guidelines for these, for men ages 65 and older. Talk with your healthcare provider to make sure you’re up to date on what you need.


Who needs it

How often

Abdominal aortic aneurysm

Men ages 65 to 75 who have ever smoked

1 ultrasound

Alcohol misuse

All adults

At routine exams

Blood pressure

All adults

Yearly checkup if your blood pressure is normal*

Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg*

If your blood pressure is higher than normal, follow the advice of your healthcare provider.

Colorectal cancer

All men at average risk in this age group through age 75 who are in good health. For men ages 76 to 85, talk with your healthcare provider to see if you should continue screening. For men 85 and older, screening is not advised.

Several tests are available and are used at different times.

For tests that find polyps and cancer:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or

  • Colonoscopy every 10 years, or

  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years

For tests that mainly find cancer:

  • Yearly fecal occult blood test, or

  • Yearly fecal immunochemical test, or

  • Stool DNA test every 3 years

You will need a colonoscopy if you choose a different test and have an abnormal test result, Screening advice varies among expert groups. Talk with your healthcare provider about which tests are best for you.

Some people should be screened using a different schedule because of their personal or family health history. Talk with your healthcare provider about your health history.


All men in this age group

At routine exams

Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes

All men starting at age 45 and men without symptoms at any age who are overweight or obese and have 1 or more extra risk factors for diabetes

At least every 3 years (annual testing if your blood sugar has begun to rise)

Type 2 diabetes

All men with prediabetes

Every year

Hepatitis C

Anyone at increased risk for infection

At routine exams

High cholesterol and triglycerides

All adults

At least every 5 years


Anyone at increased risk for infection

At routine exams

Lung cancer


Adults age 55 to 74 who in fairly good health and are at higher risk for lung cancer defined as current smokers or persons who have quit within past 15 years, and have a 30-pack-year smoking history (Eligibility criteria may vary across major organizations; Age limit may extend to age 80.)

Talk with your healthcare provider for more information


Yearly lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan (LDCT)


All adults

At routine exams

Prostate cancer

All men in this age group, talk to healthcare provider about risks and benefits of digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening***

At routine exams


Anyone at increased risk for infection

At routine exams


Anyone at increased risk for infection

Check with your healthcare provider


All adults 1

Every 1 to 2 years. If you have a chronic disease, ask your healthcare provider how often you need an exam.


Who needs it

How often

Aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular events

Men ages 45 to 69 when potential benefits from a decrease in heart attacks outweigh the harm or risks from an increase in gastrointestinal bleeding

When diagnosed with a risk for cardiovascular disease. Check with your healthcare provider before starting

Diet and exercise

Adults who are overweight or obese

When diagnosed and at routine exams

Fall prevention (exercise, vitamin D supplements)

All men in this age group

At routine exams

Sexually transmitted infection prevention

Anyone at increased risk for infection

At routine exams

Tobacco use and tobacco-related disease

All adults

Every visit


Who needs it

How often

Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Td/Tdap) booster

All adults

Every 10 years. Tdap is advised if you have contact with a child younger than 12 months. Either Td or Tdap can be used if you have no contact with infants.

Chickenpox (varicella)

All adults ages 65 and older who have no previous infection or vaccine**

2 doses. The second dose should be given at least 4 weeks after the first dose.

Flu (seasonal)

All adults

Yearly, when the vaccine is available

 Haemophilus influenzae type B (HIB)

People at risk

1 to 3 doses

Hepatitis A

People at risk, such as travelers

2 doses given at least 6 months apart. These should give long-lasting protection

Hepatitis B

People at risk, such as travelers and those with chronic liver disease

3 doses; the second dose should be given 1 month after the first dose, and the third dose should be given at least 2 months after the second dose (or at least 4 months after the first dose)

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23)

All adults ages 65 and older

1 dose of each vaccine


All men ages 60 and older

2 doses of the Recombinant Zoster Vaccine (RZV), 2-6 months apart. RZV is advised even for people who have had the live shingles vaccine called Zostavax. There is no live virus in RZV.

*From the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guideline

**There may be exceptions. Talk with your healthcare provider.

***National Comprehensive Cancer Network

If the test is positive, a colonoscopy should be done.

The multiple stool take-home test should be used. One test done by the healthcare provider in the office is not enough for testing. A colonoscopy should be done if the test is positive.

1 From the American Academy of Ophthalmology

Screening guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, except Hepatitis C from CDC

Vaccine schedule from the CDC

Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Robert Hurd MD
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2019
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