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Women over 60

Regular health checks and screenings, in combination with a healthy diet and regular physical activity, can assist in the prevention and detection of disease or illness. Recommendations are made for how often you should have a blood pressure, cholesterol, Cervical Screening Test, blood sugar, breast, skin and immunisation review.

Below is a list of the tests you should consider having. We have briefly listed what you are testing for, why you need to test and when to test; and for heart and cardiovascular health, the healthy limits for women.

The government offers a '75+ year-old health check' – a free annual health assessment with your doctor for people aged 75 years and over.

The complete range of medical checks and screening procedures required throughout life will vary for every person, depending on individual risks, medical background and family history. Talk to your doctor about what tests you need to maintain your health.

Topics on this page

Heart & cardiovascular health

Blood pressure

Why: Make sure it's not too high

Normal: Below 130/80 mmHG

How often: Every year

Cholesterol

Why: Make sure it's not too high

Normal: Below 6.0

How often: Every 5 years unless at higher risk, then may be every 1 or 2 years

Body mass index (BMI)

Why: Measure the best weight for your health

Normal: 20-25

How often: Every year

Ovaries & uterus health

Cervical Screening Test

Why: The Cervical Screening Test looks for the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can cause changes to cells in your cervix, which in rare cases can develop into cervical cancer

When: Until the age of 74

How often: Your first Cervical Screening Test is due two years after your last Pap test. After that, you will need to have the test only every five years if your results are normal

Ovarian cancer screening

Why: Screen for changes in the ovary indicating ovarian cancer

When: If you are at risk due to family history, or are experiencing symptoms

How often: As your doctor advises

Breast health

Breast self-check

Why: To check for changes that may indicate breast cancer

When: From your 20s onwards

How often: Every month

Mammogram

Why: Screening for breast cancer

When: Until you are 70

How often: Every 2 years

Bladder & bowel health

Bowel cancer test

Why: Screening for bowel cancer

When: From the age of 50

How often: Every 2 years

Urine test

Why: To assess kidney health

When: From the age of 50

How often: Every year

Sexual health

Sexually transmissible infection (STI) check, including chlamydia

Why: Screening for STIs

When: Before a new partner, or if a change of partner

How often: As required

Bone health

Bone health review, including falls risk assessment

Why: Screening for osteoporosis

When: From the age of 50 or at risk of osteoporosis

How often: Every 2 years

Skin health

Skin examination

Why: Screening for skin cancer

When: If you are over 60

How often: Every year

Eyes, ears & dental health

Eye examination

Why: Testing vision and eye health

When: If you are over 60

How often: Every year

Hearing test

Why: Testing for deterioration

When: If you are over 60

How often: Every year

Dental examination and cleaning

Why: Testing for tooth decay and gum disease

When: If you are over 60

How often: Every year

Blood sugar

Glucose (sugar) check

Why: Testing for diabetes

When: If you are over 60

How often: Every year

Mental & emotional health

Dementia screening

Why: Checking for signs of dementia

When

  • As needed under 75
  • Over 75

How often: Every year over 75

Mental health check

Why: Testing for anxiety, depression

When: If you are experiencing symptoms, such as anxiety, irritability or sadness

How often: As needed

Immunisation review

Checking your immunity

Why

  • Influenza virus can change strain each year, which means annual influenza vaccination is needed to provide protection against the most recent virus
  • Some immunisations wear off after a few years, so you may need booster shots

When: If you are at risk, or over 65

How often

  • Every year for influenza
  • Pneumonia vaccine at 65 years
  • Others as advised by your doctor


This web page is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your health practitioner. The information above is based on current medical knowledge, evidence and practice as at October 2018.

Last updated: 18 February 2020 | Last reviewed: 11 October 2018

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