Does the frequency of blood test vary according to gender, age and lifestyle?

Various factors that affect regular health tests

Contributed by – Dr. Pooja Chaudhary

Do you really know your health? Most of us are hardly aware of our health status and an increase in health issues have become an inevitable part of growing up. Our unhealthy lifestyle, long work hours with no physical activity, unhealthy eating habits, stress; all adds up to create chaos in our bodies. A fast increase in the lifestyle disorders has been witnessed in the recent past. It is important to understand and take control of of our health before it is too late.

Regular health checkups and blood tests offer us the opportunity to stay aware of health conditions and take timely action. A good health plan always includes regular health tests. But, what really decides the frequency of these necessary blood tests? This is really important discussion as our health depends on the correct and timely diagnosis.

Having regular health check-up helps in the prevention, diagnosis and timely treatment of health problems. It also helps the doctor to understand your health better and keep a track of it. The frequency of blood test majorly depends on:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Lifestyle
  • Medical and family history

Let us discuss each factor and how it affects the blood test results at length.

Gender

All of us know that men and women are very different beings. With different physical and emotional aspects, it is only obvious to have different blood tests assigned to both the sexes. Hormonal and physiological changes governs this factor. For example:

  • In females during pregnancy, the physiological changes result in an alteration in the laboratory parameters, hence the frequency of test is needed accordingly
  • With no risk factors associated, cholesterol testing mostly begins at the age of 40 in men and 50 in women and the test frequency mainly depends on the result
  • In women after 35 years of age, blood test for thyroid screening should be done every five months
  • Vitamin D deficiency is more common in females, keeping them at high risk of developing osteoporosis. The frequency of testing will depend on the levels of osteoporosis
  • Men and women body produce different hormones and the tests are done accordingly. Prostate test in males is for diagnosis of prostate cancer. Similarly, female hormone test is diagnosis of female body and the related hormonal problems

Age

Like any machine our human body too goes under wear and tear. Aging slows the body processes and makes it much more susceptible to health issues. Thus, the frequency of several health tests increases with growing age.

  • In early twenties cholesterol is generally normal but after a particular age it is suggested to get tested every 5 month
  • Diabetes screening every 3  months after the age of 40 is a must
  • Risk of lifestyle disorders like thyroid, arthritis, blood pressure, risk of heart problems also increases with growing age and undergoing regular test every 3 months is highly recommended

 

Lifestyle

Our lifestyle defines our health. It plays a significant role in the determining the frequency of blood test. A persons’s diet and daily routine can influence the laboratory parameters to a great extent.

  • A diabetic person must follow the prescribed lifestyle to maintain the sugar levels. But unhealthy lifestyle choices can wreak havoc in a sugar patient. Keeping a regular track of blood sugar levels is a necessity
  • Obesity and unhealthy eating can increase the chances of various health problems like cholesterol, heart problems, hormonal disorders etc. Regular tests can help keep a proper track of health status and deal accordingly
  • Unhealthy habits like smoking or binge drinking increases the risk of health problems, making such a person prone to several health problems. Regular health checkups are a must in such case
  • Today’s fast paced and demanding lifestyle puts a lot of pressure on all of us. Thus, increasing the stress levels which triggers the blood pressure levels. A proper check on blood pressure level can help avoid serious health issues
  • A person suffering from anemia needs to keep track of the hemoglobin levels. Hence the frequency of blood tests must be maintained

 

Family Factors

The frequency of blood test also depends on medical history of the family. All of us inherit a lot from our families and in some cases unfortunately health problems.

  • Family history of heart disease or high cholesterol increases the risk of inheriting such disorders. It is recommended to undergo regular tests annually
  • A person with family history of diabetes has high chances of acquiring the same. Regular blood sugar tests can help keep track of sugar levels
  • Asthma, arthritis, heart problems all can be inherited. Regular health checkups annually can help stay a step ahead of these diseases

 

Some Facts About Routine Blood Test

We often plan a visit to the doctor incase of health problem or treatment and follow up examination. What we don’t realize that a regular health check-up is a key to stay healthy. Going for a regular blood tests or check-ups can help in:

  • Primary prevention of the disease
  • Identifying the risk factor for common diseases
  • Diseases such as cancer, HIV, diabetes, anemia and certain heart diseases can also be diagnosed
  • Helps in detecting conditions that have no initial signs and symptoms
  • To keep track of your health

 

The Process Of Blood Test

Most of us fear needles, the thought of blood test gives us goosebumps. But, blood tests are not that scary once we understand the entire procedure. A typical blood test procedure takes only a few minutes and doesn’t require any special preparations.

During the test: The blood is drawn from the vein in the arm with the help of a needle.

After the test: Immediately after the blood is drawn, the technician will instruct you to lightly apply pressure with the gauze to stop the bleeding. A bandage is applied at the prick and it is recommended to remove the bandage after few hours.

Blood tests truly reflects our health status and makes us aware of our health conditions. Regular blood tests are a boon as they help to diagnose health problems and understand health better. Stop ignoring your health and make blood tests part of your health plan. Ensure a healthy tomorrow with regular health tests.

 

 

Health Tests Help Understand Health Better
 

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