Prevention Guidelines, Women Ages 65 and Older

Screening tests and vaccines are an important part of managing your health. Health counseling is essential, too. Below are guidelines for these, for women ages 65 and older. Talk with your healthcare provider to make sure you’re up to date on what you need.

Screening

Who needs it

How often

Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes

All adults beginning at age 45 and adults without symptoms at any age who are overweight or obese and have 1 or more additional risk factors for diabetes

At least every 3 years

Alcohol misuse

All women in this age group

At routine exams

Blood pressure

All women in this age group

Every 2 years if your blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg; yearly if your systolic blood pressure is 120 to 139 mm Hg, or your diastolic blood pressure reading is 80 to 89 mm Hg

Breast cancer

All women in this age group

Yearly mammogram and clinical breast exam1

Cervical cancer

Only women who had abnormal screening results before age 65

Talk with your healthcare provider

Chlamydia

Women at increased risk for infection

At routine exams

Colorectal cancer

All women in this age group1

Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or colonoscopy every 10 years, or double-contrast barium enema every 5 years; yearly fecal occult blood test or fecal immunochemical test; or a stool DNA test as often as your healthcare provider advises; talk with your healthcare provider about which tests are best for you

Depression

All women in this age group

At routine exams

Gonorrhea

Sexually active women at increased risk for infection

At routine exams

Hepatitis C

Anyone at increased risk; 1 time for those born between 1945 and 1965

At routine exams

High cholesterol or triglycerides

All women in this age group who are at risk for coronary artery disease

At least every 5 years

HIV

Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider

At routine exams

Lung cancer

Adults age 55 to 80 who have smoked

Yearly screening in smokers with 30 pack-year history of smoking or who quit within 15 years

Obesity

All women in this age group

At routine exams

Osteoporosis

All women in this age group

Bone density test at age 65, then follow-up as advised by your healthcare provider

Syphilis

Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider

At routine exams

Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH)

All women in this age group

Every 5 years

Tuberculosis

Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider

Ask your healthcare provider

Vision

All women in this age group

Every 1 to 2 years; if you have a chronic health condition, ask your healthcare provider if you need exams more often

Vaccine

Who needs it

How often

Chickenpox (varicella)

All women in this age group who have no record of this infection or vaccine

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

Hepatitis A

Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider

2 doses given 6 months apart

Hepatitis B

Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider

3 doses over 6 months; second dose should be given 1 month after the first dose; the third dose should be given at least 2 months after the second dose and at least 4 months after the first dose

Haemophilus influenza Type B (HIB)

Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider

1 to 3 doses

Influenza (flu)

All women in this age group

Once a year

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

All women in this age group

1 dose of each vaccine

Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Td/Tdap) booster

All women in this age group

Td every 10 years, or a one-time dose of Tdap instead of a Td booster after age 18, then Td every 10 years

Zoster

All women in this age group

1 dose

Counseling

Who needs it

How often

Diet and exercise

Women who are overweight or obese

When diagnosed, and then at routine exams

Fall prevention (exercise and vitamin D supplements)

All women in this age group

At routine exams

Sexually transmitted infection prevention

Women at increased risk for infection – talk with your healthcare provider

At routine exams

Use of daily aspirin

Women ages 55 and up in this age group who are at risk for cardiovascular health problems such as stroke

When your risk is known

Use of tobacco and the health effects it can cause

All women in this age group

Every exam

1American Cancer Society