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.

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 5 years unless at higher risk, then may be every 1 or 2 years
Body mass index (BMI)

Measure the best weight for your health

20-25

Every year

Vulva, vagina, ovaries & uterus health

What Why When How often
Cervical Screening Test 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

Until the age of 74

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 Screen for changes in the ovary indicating ovarian cancer If you are at risk due to family history, or are experiencing symptoms As your doctor advises

Breast health

What Why When How often

Breast self-check

To check for changes that may indicate 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 From the age of 50 Every 2 years
Urine test To assess kidney health.

From the age of 50

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

From the age of 50 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
  • 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
  • If you are at risk, or over 65
  • Every year for influenza
  • Pneumonia vaccine at 65 years
  • Others as advised by your doctor

References

  1. RACGP, Guidelines for Preventive Activities in General Practice, 9th Edition (May 2018)

  2. Australian Government, Department of Health, The National Immunisation Program

Last updated 08 November 2018 — Last reviewed 11 October 2018

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.

Subscribe To our newsletters