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Prevention Guidelines, Women Ages 50 to 64

Screening tests and vaccines are an important part of managing your health. A screening test is done to find possible disorders or diseases in people who don't have any symptoms. The goal is to find a disease early so lifestyle changes can be made and you can be watched more closely to reduce the risk of disease, or to detect it early enough to treat it most effectively. Screening tests are not considered diagnostic, but are used to determine if more testing is needed. Health counseling is essential, too. Below are guidelines for these, for women ages 50 to 64. Keep in mind that screening advice varies among expert groups. Talk with your healthcare provider about which tests are best for you and to make sure you’re up to date on what you need.

Screening

Who needs it

How often

Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes

All women beginning at age 45 and women 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

Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes

All women diagnosed with gestational diabetes

Lifelong testing at least every 3 years

Type 2 diabetes

All women with prediabetes

Every year

Unhealthy alcohol use

All women in this age group

At routine exams

Blood pressure

All women in this age group

Yearly checkup if your blood pressure is normal

Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg

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

Breast cancer

All women at average risk in this age group

Yearly mammogram should be done until age 54. At age 55, you can switch to every other year or choose to continue yearly.

All women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and know the possible benefits and risks of breast cancer screening with mammograms.

Cervical cancer

All women in this age group, except women who have had a complete hysterectomy

Pap test every 3 years or Pap test with human papillomavirus (HPV) test every 5 years

Chlamydia

Women who are sexually active and at increased risk for infection

At yearly routine exams

Colorectal cancer

All women at average risk in this age group

Multiple tests are available and are used at different times. Possible tests include:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or

  • Colonoscopy every 10 years, or

  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years, or

  • Yearly fecal occult blood test, or

  • Yearly fecal immunochemical test every year, or

  • Stool DNA test, every 3 years

If you choose a test other than a colonoscopy and have an abnormal test result, you will need to follow up with a colonoscopy. 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.

Depression

All women in this age group

At routine exams

Gonorrhea

Sexually active women at increased risk for infection

At yearly 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; talk with your healthcare provider about your risk

HIV

All women

At least once during your lifetime; yearly if at high risk

Lung cancer

Women between the ages of 55 to 74 who are in fairly good health and are at higher risk for lung cancer

 

  • Currently smoke or have

quit within past 15 years

 

  • 30-pack-year smoking history

, Eligibility criteria and age limit (possibly up to age 80) may vary across major organizations

Yearly lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan (LDCT) Talk with your healthcare provider for more information.

Obesity

All women in this age group

At yearly routine exams

Osteoporosis

Women who are postmenopausal

Talk with your healthcare provider

Syphilis

Women at increased risk for infection

At routine exams; talk with your healthcare provider

Tuberculosis

Women at increased risk for infection

Talk with your healthcare provider

Vision

All women in this age group

Talk with your healthcare provider

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

Hepatitis A

Women at increased risk for infection

2 or 3 doses (depending on the vaccine) given at least 6 months apart; talk with your healthcare provider

Hepatitis B

Women at increased risk for infection

2 or 3 doses (depending on the vaccine) ; second dose should be given 1 month after the first dose; if a third dose, it should be given at least 2 months after the second dose and at least 4 months after the first dose; talk with your healthcare provider

Haemophilus influenzae Type B (HIB)

Women at increased risk for infection

1 or 3 doses; talk with your healthcare provider

Influenza (flu)

All women in this age group

Once a year

Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)

Women in this age group born in 1957 or later who have no record of these infections or vaccines

1 or 2doses

Meningococcal

Women at increased risk for infection

1 or more doses; talk with your healthcare provider

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

Women at increased risk for infection

PCV13: 1 dose ages 19 to 64 (protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria)

PPSV23: 1 or 2 doses through age 64(protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria)

Talk with your healthcare provider

Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Td/Tdap) booster

All women in this age group

Td every 10 years, or a 1-time dose of Tdap instead of a Td booster after age 18, then Td every 10 years

Zoster (Shingles)

All women ages 50 and older

2 vaccines are available:

 

  • Recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV; Shingrix) is recommended as the preferred shingles vaccine. It's given in a series of 2 doses The 2nd dose is given 2 to 6 months after the first. This is given even if you've had shingles before or or had a previous Zoster live vaccine (ZVL; Zostavax).

  • Zoster live vaccine (ZVL; Zostavax) may be given to healthy adults over age 60. It's given in one dose

 

Counseling

Who needs it

How often

BRCA gene mutation testing for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility

Women with increased risk for having gene mutation

When your risk is known; talk with your healthcare provider

Breast cancer and chemoprevention

Women at high risk for breast cancer

When your risk is known; talk with your healthcare provider

Diet and exercise

Women who are overweight or obese

When diagnosed, and then at routine exams

Sexually transmitted infection prevention

Women at increased risk for infection

At routine exams; talk with your healthcare provider

Use of daily aspirin

Women ages 50 and up who are at high risk for cardiovascular health problems and not at increased risk for bleeding as identified by their healthcare provider

When your risk is known; talk with your healthcare provider

Use of tobacco and the health effects it can cause

All women in this age group

Every exam

Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Maryann Foley RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Robert Hurd MD
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2020
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