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Checklist for your Doctor

Know your numbers.

The following chart lists the medical tests and exams that should be part of your regular office visits. Use this checklist as a tool to talk with your doctor.  The recommended schedule is based on a person of average risk. Please ask your doctor what is right for you.

Medical Test /
Examination

Why What Result
Should Be
How Often Test is
Typically Needed
Blood Pressure

Controlling your blood pressure can help prevent heart disease, stroke, and kidney damage

Less than 120/80
Every visit, or at least every 2 years
Smoking status & exposure; and advice to stop smoking
Smoking increases your risk of heart disease, cancer, asthma and other lung diseases, and can cause problems with pregnancy
Stop smoking; avoid all tobacco products and smoke exposure
Every visit
Weight / Body Mass Index (BMI) Aiming for a healthy weight can help you feel better and lower your chances of getting other health problems
BMI 18-24.9
Every visit, or at least every 2 years
Cholesterol (Lipids)  Keeping your LDL low and raising your HDL can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke
LDL less than 130 mg/dl
HDL more than 40 (men), or more than 50 (women)
At least every 5 years
Fasting blood sugar
Over 1 out of 4 people in Maine have a high blood sugar that can develop into diabetes.  Screening can help you find diabetes early and avoid future problems
Less than 100 mg/dl At least every 3 years if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol
Breast cancer screening (mammogram) Many cancers can be treated more effectively if found early
Normal Every 2 years starting at age 50; Talk with your doctor at age 40
Cervical cancer screening (Pap)
Many cancers can be treated more effectively if found early Normal At least every 3 years
Colon cancer screening (colonoscopy or other test)
Many cancers can be treated more effectively if found early Normal Every 10 years starting at age 50 (colonoscopy)
Influenza ("Flu") Vaccine Vaccines can lower your chance of getting sick Get the shot Every year (fall)
Pneumococcal Pneumonia Vaccine Vaccines can lower your chance of getting sick Get the shot Once when 65 years or older

Download the full Prevention Pathway to Health as a PDF

The Maine Pathway to Health is produced and supported by Chronic Disease Partners of Maine and Maine Aligning Forces for Quality, an initiative of Quality Counts, the Maine Health Management Coalition, and the Maine Quality Forum.  This effort is made possible with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and by generous contributions from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and MaineHealth.

 

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