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Press Release Date: June 12, 2003
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality today announced a new men's health tool, A Checklist for Your Next Checkup. The checklist shows at a glance what the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends regarding seven important medical screening tests for men and offers other important information on ways to stay healthy.
"The myriad of health tips and information available today can be confusing for patients. This new health checklist distills the best science into an understandable and convenient reference that tells men which medical screenings they need and when," said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. "Hopefully, the health checklist will make the road to good health a bit smoother for many men."
The Checklist for Your Next Checkup, a pocket-size brochure, is designed for men to take with them when they visit their health care providers to make it easier to talk about which screening tests they might need. Unlike diagnostic tests, which clinicians order when they suspect someone has a disease, screening tests help check for problems before there are symptoms.
The checklist includes recommendations about cholesterol checks, tests for high blood pressure, colorectal cancer, diabetes, depression, sexually transmitted diseases, and prostate cancer. It also provides tips about other things to do to stay healthy, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising. The checklist includes a chart for men to jot down their screening test history and plan their next appointments.
"There is so much information about medical tests that it can be difficult to know what to do and when," said Carolyn M.Clancy, M.D., Director of AHRQ, the HHS agency that sponsors the Task Force. "This will help men decide with their doctors which screening tests they need based on the latest scientific information."
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is the leading independent panel of private-sector experts in prevention and primary care. It conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of all of the scientific evidence for a broad range of preventive services, and its recommendations are considered the gold standard for clinical preventive services. A complete listing of recommendations from the Task Force and the program that helps implement these recommendations, Put Prevention Into Practice, can be found at http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/prevenix.htm.
The new Checklist for Your Next Checkup is available on the AHRQ Web site in English at http://www.ahrq.gov/ppip/healthymen.htm and in Spanish at http://www.ahrq.gov/ppip/healthymensp.htm. Copies of the tool and related materials, including a comprehensive health guide called The Pocket Guide to Good Health for Adults, are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse by calling (800) 358-9295 or sending an E-mail to AHRQPubs@ahrq.hhs.gov. Clinical information also is available from the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ at http://www.guideline.gov. HHS also sponsors Steps to a HealthierUS, a new initiative that advances President George W. Bush's goal of helping Americans live longer, better, and healthier lives. More information is available at http://www.healthierUS.gov.
Editor's Note: Audio news releases in English and Spanish on the men's checklist are available for download on http://www.radiospace.com. Both provide scripts and are available in MP3 format at 48 kbps or 96 kbps.
Please note that AHRQ is moving to a new location. Effective June 16, 2003, we will move to the:
John M. Eisenberg Building
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, MD 20850
For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs: (301) 427-1364.