Preventive Health Exam

Preventive Health Exam

Definition

A preventive health examination, or exam, is a scheduled visit to a healthcare professional that is focused on detecting and preventing health problems rather than on any specific current complaint or condition.

What is the information for this topic?

Infants younger than 1 year old have frequent preventive health exams, following a schedule for well-baby visits. Healthy individuals of other age groups should follow the professional's recommendations for scheduling exams. People over the age of 65 years, for example, may need to be seen more frequently, as do individuals with certain diseases and conditions.
Some examples of these include:
  • coronary artery disease or other heart disease
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol levels in the blood
  • a history of cancer
A preventive health exam generally includes the following components:
  • blood pressure check
  • temperature, pulse, and respiration checks
  • weight and height
The preventive health exam is an excellent opportunity for the professional to counsel the individual about health risks and talk through the best ways for the person to pursue a healthier lifestyle. Stopping smoking, using seat belts consistently, improving dietary habits, and following healthy sexual practices are some of the most important items to cover.
Other components may be included, depending on the person's sex, age, and health status. Some examples of these include:
  • blood sugar test
  • breast exam
  • cholesterol test
  • eye exam
  • hearing tests
  • pelvic exam and Pap smear
  • prostate exam
  • cancer screening

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