Preventative health care: The screenings, vaccines recommended for most adults

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MILWAUKEE -- Preventative care us one way to be proactive with our health. But not everyone knows what screenings to get and when.

Dr. Paul Hartlaub with Wheaton Francisican Healthcare joins FOX6 WakeUp with the details.

Health Screenings for Any Age

  1. Why is it important to get screened for health issues and receive vaccines?
  • The earlier a disease is diagnosed, the more likely it is that it can be cured or successfully managed.
  • When you treat a disease early, you may be able to prevent or delay problems from the disease.
  • Treating the disease early may also make the disease easier to live with.
  • Outbreaks of preventable diseases occur when people decide not to vaccinate themselves or their children.
  1. How should you decide when to get a screening test?
  • When and how often you get screening tests may depend on your age, your gender, your health status, your risk factors, and the cost of testing. Your doctor may suggest screening tests based on expert guidelines. In some cases, testing is done as part of a routine checkup.
  • When you are thinking about getting a screening test, talk with your doctor. Find out about the disease, what the test is like, how the test may help you or hurt you, and how much the test costs. You may also want to ask what further testing and follow-up will be needed if a screening test result shows a possible problem.
  • Think about what you would do if a test shows that you have the disease. (For example, if you test positive for something, are you willing to take medicine or make lifestyle changes?)
  1. What screenings and vaccines are recommended for most adults?


  • HIV/AIDS screen (up to age 65)
  • Blood pressure checks
  • Colon cancer checks (age 50 - 75, maybe later)
  • Yearly wellness exam
    • Weight checks
    • Healthy diet
    • Exercise
    • Avoid smoking
  • Checks for problem drinking
  • Checks for depression


  • Flu (influenza)
  • Pneumococcal vaccines (two different vaccines, age 65+, earlier if at risk)
  • Shingles (once, age 60+)
  • Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine once (then every 10 years)
  • MMR vaccine (unless had or born before 1957)
  • Chicken pox vaccine (unless had or born before 1980)
  • Human Papilloma Virus vaccine (up to age 26)

Other (Based on high risk factors)

  • Ultrasound for abdominal aortic aneurysm (If age 65 - 75 and male and have a history of smoking)
  • Hepatitis C test (if born between 1945 -1965)
  • BRCA cancer gene (for women at high risk of breast cancer)
  1. What resources can you use to help you determine what health screenings and vaccines are best for you?

Other vaccines, as noted by Dr. Hartlaub:

Women Able to Get Pregnant

  • Rubella vaccine
  • Folic acid supplement
  • Routine checks for intimate partner violence or abuse
  • Breastfeed your newborns!

Additional Screenings/Vaccines


  • Cholesterol checks (every 3 - 5 years, aged 35+)


  • Pap (every 3 years age 21 - 29, or 5 years (age 30 - 65 with negative HPV))
  • Check for some hidden sexually transmitted infections (ex: chlamydia and gonorrhea, up to age 25)
  • Consider cholesterol checks based on risks and preferences
  • Mammograms (at least every 2 years ages 50 - 74). Consider earlier or later, or every year, based on risks and preferences.
  • DXA bone scan for osteoporosis (at least once, age 65+)