Women over 60

Last updated 13 February 2017 — Last reviewed 17 February 2014

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, Pap smear, 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, when to test and for heart and cardiovascular health, the healthy limits for women.

The government offers '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 require to maintain your health.

Heart & cardiovascular health

What Why "Normal" How often
Blood pressure Make sure it's not too high. Below130/80 mmHG. Every year.
Cholesterol Make sure it's not too high. Below 6.0. Every year.
Body mass index

Measure the best weight for your health.


Every year.

Vulva, vagina, ovaries & uterus health

What Why When How often
Pap smear test Screen for cell changes and cervical cancer.

Until you are 70 if the previous 2 smears are normal.

Every 2 years.
Ovarian cancer screening Screen for changes in the ovary indicating ovarian cancer. If you are at risk due to family history or  experiencing symptoms. As your doctor advises.

Breast health

What Why When How often

Breast check

Screening for breast cancer. From your 20s onwards. Every month.
Mammogram Screening for breast cancer. Until you are 70. Every 2 years.

Bladder & bowel health

What Why When How often
Bowel cancer test Screening for bowel cancer. If you are over 60. Every 2 years.
Urine test To assess kidney health.

If you are over 60.

Every year.

Sexual health

What Why When How often
Sexually Transmissible Infection (STI) check, Including chlamydia Screening for STIs. Before a new partner or if a change of partner. As required.

Bone health

What Why When How often
Bone health review including falls risk assessment Screening for osteoporosis.

If you are over 60.

or at risk of osteoporosis.

Every 2 years.

Skin health

What Why When How often
Skin examination Screening for skin cancer. If you are over 60. Every year.

Eyes, ears & dental health

What Why When How often
Eye examination Testing vision and eye health. If you are over 60. Every year.
Hearing test Testing for deterioration.

If you are over 60.

Every year.
Examination and cleaning Testing for tooth decay and gum disease.

If you are over 60.

Every year.

Blood sugar

What Why When How often
Glucose (sugar) check Testing for diabetes. If you are over 60. Every year.

Mental & emotional health

What Why When How often
Dementia screening Checking for signs of dementia.
  • As needed under 75
  • Over 75
Every year over 75.
Mental health check Testing for anxiety, depression. If you are experiencing symptoms, such as anxiety, irritability or sadness. As needed.

Immunisation review

What Why When How often
Checking your immunity
  • Some immunisations wear out after a long time
  • Influenza virus can change strain each year
  • If you are at risk, or over 65
  • Every year for flu
  • 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 February 2014.

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