Proactive health checks


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Proactive health checks

Regular, proactive health checks have been proven beneficial for early detection and prevention of illness. By detecting potential health problems before they become severe, treatment is more likely to be successful.


Regardless of your age, regular health checks are very important for everyone. Visiting your doctor or healthcare specialist regularly can be invaluable in the detection, prevention and management of health issues before they become serious.

Proactive health checks can help detect, prevent and manage health issues before they become serious.

Blood pressure

Men and women under 40 and without a personal or family history of high blood pressure should have their blood pressure checked every two years, just to be on the safe sidei,ii. Men and women over 40 should be checked more frequently if they have a personal or family history of high blood pressure or if their current blood pressure is on the high sidei,ii. Persistent high blood pressure can lead to serious health issues such as heart attacks, strokes, heart failure or kidney diseaseiii.

Obesity

People who are overweight or obese have a greater risk of developing health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or strokei,ii. In Australia, men are more likely to be overweight or obese than womeniv. Men and women should have their body mass index (BMI) and waist measurement checked every two years by a GP, and once men are over 40 years old they should increase these checks to once a yeari,ii.

Skin cancer

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with two in three Australians diagnosed by the age of 70v. However, over 95 per cent of skin cancers can be successfully treated if they are detected earlyv. Regularly check your skin and if you notice any unusual spots, including changes in shape, colour or size of existing spots, visit your doctorvi.

Sexual health checks

Many sexually transmissible infections (STIs) do not present symptoms so it is important to have regular sexual health check-ups if you are sexually activevii,viii,ix. You can be tested for STIs by your doctor using a urine test, swab, blood test or physical examination, depending on the STIvii. Discuss your symptoms and sexual history with your doctor who will work out which tests are right for youvii. Due to its prevalence, it is recommended that sexually active individuals under 25 get a urine test for chlamydia every yearx. Women should also have a pap test every two years from within two years of their first sexual experience until the age of 70i.

Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is more likely to occur in people with limited sun exposure or naturally dark skinxi. If you are concerned about your vitamin D levels, a blood test from your doctor can determine your risk of vitamin D deficiencyxi. If you are at risk, regular check-ups are necessary to monitor your vitamin D levelsxi.

95 per cent of skin cancer cases can be treated successfully if they are detected early.

Just as there are specific health check-ups recommended for people aged over 40, proactive health checks at every age can ensure illnesses are detected in their initial stages. Early detection allows timely treatment, which can improve the chances of recovery.

While managing your health, you should also plan for your family's financial security in case illness prevents you from earning an income. By taking out life insurance, you'll know that your family's financial situation will be secure while you recover. Contact Allianz for a quote today.


i Better Health Channel, Victorian Government 2013, Health checks for women, viewed 28 October 2013,
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Health_checks_for_women

ii Better Health Channel, Victorian Government 2013, Health checks for men, viewed 28 October 2013,
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Health_checks_for_men

iii Better Health Channel, Victorian Government 2013, Blood pressure, viewed 30 October 2013,
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Blood_pressure_explained

iv Better Health Channel, Victorian Government 2013, Obesity, viewed 28 October 2013,
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Obesity

v Better Health Channel, Victorian Government 2013, Melanoma, viewed 30 October 2013,
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Melanoma

vi Better Health Channel, Victorian Government 2013, Skin cancer - risk factors, viewed 30 October 2013,
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Skin_cancer_risk_factors_and_early_signs

vii Australian Government 2013, Testing & Treatment, viewed 30 October 2013,
http://www.sti.health.gov.au/internet/sti/publishing.nsf/content/resources2

viii Ministry of Health, New South Wales Government 2013, Sexual Health Check-up, viewed 30 October 2013,
http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/sexualhealth/Pages/sexual-health-check-up.aspx

ix Better Health Channel, Victorian Government 2013, Sexually transmissible infections (STIs), viewed 30 October 2013,
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Sexually_transmissible_infections_%28STIs%29

x Better Health Channel, Victorian Government 2013, Chlamydia, viewed 30 October 2013,
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Chlamydia

xi Better Health Channel, Victorian Government 2013, Vitamin D, viewed 30 October 2013,
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Vitamin_D