A Health Checklist for Men in Their 20s and 30s

Danbury Hospital
Decades of Health, A Health Checklist for Men, 20s and 30s

Summary:

  • Annual exams are an opportunity for men in their 20s and 30s to have important preventive physical and mental health screenings.
  • Men in their 20s and 30s should be screened for sexually transmitted infections if they are sexually active and have multiple partners.
  • Vaccines are an essential part of preventive care for men in their 20s and 30s.
  • Men should have routine dental and eye exams, as well as skin and hearing exams as needed.

Men in their 20s and 30s usually have an active lifestyle, and are busy balancing career responsibilities, hobbies, socializing, and family time. During these hectic decades, it can be tempting for men to let their health take a backseat.

According to Dr. Nick Florio, a family medicine physician at Western Connecticut Medical Group Ridgefield Primary Care, there are a few simple things that men in their 20s and 30s can do to keep tabs on their health.

Nick Florio, MD
Dr. Nick Florio, Family Medicine Physician, Western Connecticut Medical Group Ridgefield Primary Care

In the wake of the initial COVID-19 surge, ensuring that men in their 20s and 30s resume routine health screenings and preventive care is another way they can set the stage for a lifetime of health. Patients can expect positive changes during their next visit to a Nuvance Health Medical Practices primary care office. For more information, visit nuvancehealth.org/safecare.

Here’s a checklist of important health screenings that Dr. Florio recommends for men in their 20s and 30s:

Annual Exam

Men in their 20s and 30s may not think an annual exam is a priority, but in fact this is one of the easiest and most important things that younger men can do for their health — even if they feel well and don’t have any chronic health concerns.

Annual exams for men in their 20s and 30s are highly individualized based on their unique health concerns and needs. Although men in their 20s and 30s should have their blood pressure, height, and weight checked at their annual exams, blood tests may not necessarily be required. For example, a healthcare clinician may only recommend blood tests to check cholesterol, glucose/A1C, or thyroid levels if a man has symptoms or a family history of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, or thyroid problems.

In addition to physical health screenings, healthcare clinicians may also use annual exams as an opportunity to screen for mental health conditions. For example, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) now recommends depression screenings for all adults.

“It’s particularly important to screen for anxiety and depression, and men should be open with their doctor about how they’re feeling,” said Dr. Florio. “At WCMG primary practices, we have a behavioral health consultant available in the office who can meet with patients right away.”

An annual physical exam is also a good time for men to discuss their overall well-being and lifestyle with their healthcare clinician, who can recommend diet and lifestyle modifications to promote optimal health.

Although an in-person exam is typically required during an annual physical, men in their 20s and 30s may be able to conveniently access follow-up or sick care services from the comfort of their home using Virtual Visits. For more information, to schedule an appointment, or to find a clinician, visit nuvancehealth.org/virtualvisits.

Screenings for Sexually Transmitted Infections

The USPSTF recommends that men at increased risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) be screened for chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and syphilis. A person is considered to have increased risk if they engage in high-risk sexual behavior such as unprotected sex, having sex while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, having sex in exchange for money or drugs, or having sex with multiple partners.

“Even if a man does not have symptoms of an STI, he should still be screened if he’s sexually active and has different partners, or if he has any other concerns,” said Dr. Florio.

Vaccines

Men in their 20s and 30s should keep up with routine vaccinations, including:

  • An annual flu vaccine
  • A Tdap booster every 10 years to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) or a Td booster to protect against only tetanus and diphtheria
  • An HPV vaccine, if recommended, to protect against human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which can cause anal, penile, and throat cancers in men

The Food and Drug Administration approved the HPV vaccine for kids and adults ages 9 to 45. Although the HPV vaccine is most beneficial if it’s given before someone is sexually active, recent data show that there may be some benefit for those who are already sexually active and have not yet received the vaccine. Men in their 20s and 30s who have not had the HPV vaccine should talk to their healthcare clinician to see if it might be an option for them.

Dental, Hearing, and Eye Exams

Men in their 20s and 30s should receive a dental exam and cleaning every six months, or at least once per year, depending on their dentist’s recommendation. Eye exams should be scheduled every two years for men who have an average risk of developing vision problems, and every year for men who are at high risk for conditions such as glaucoma.

“We only recommend hearing tests for men in their 20s and 30s if they have a concern or problem,” said Dr. Florio.

Skin Exams

Healthcare clinicians may recommend that men who have fair skin, a family history of skin cancer, or other skin cancer risk factors should see a dermatologist for annual skin exams.

“According to the USPSTF, there is insufficient evidence on the benefit of routine skin cancer screenings for people who are at average risk of developing skin cancer,” said Dr. Florio. “However, we do recommend skin self-exams for men in their 20s and 30s. Patients should keep an eye on their skin and let their doctor know about any changes or concerns that would prompt routine screenings.”

The Bottom Line

Despite busy schedules and other commitments, men in their 20s and 30s should make time for routine and preventive health care. An annual exam and a few screenings each year can go a long way toward keeping a young man fit and healthy.

This health checklist is a great starting point to prepare men for what they may expect health-wise when they’re in their 20s and 30s. But remember, everyone is unique. Men should speak with their healthcare clinician about their own personal health history, family health history, race/ethnicity, and lifestyle to know what types of screenings, tests, and support makes sense for them.

To schedule an appointment with a Western Connecticut Medical Group primary care clinician, visit our website or call (203) 739 4700.

CONTACT
Amy Forni, Manager, Public Relations
(203) 739 7478 | Amy.Forni@nuvancehealth.org