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Preventive Care

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AHRQ and AARP team to help adults over 50 stay healthy

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the AARP have released two new checklists designed to help men and women over the age of 50 learn what they can do to stay healthy and prevent disease. AHRQ and AARP also released an accompanying wall chart that provides information about recommended preventive services and can be posted in both clinical and community settings.

The three publications—Men: Stay Healthy at 50+, Checklists for Your Health; Women: Stay Healthy at 50+, Checklists for Your Health; and the Staying Healthy at 50+ timeline—show at a glance the evidence-based recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force regarding screening tests, preventive medicines, and healthy lifestyle behaviors for people 50 and older.

Both Checklists for Health, available in English and Spanish, are brochures that adults can take along to medical appointments and are designed to help patients and clinicians engage in discussions about necessary preventive screening tests. Unlike diagnostic tests, which clinicians order when they suspect someone has a disease, screening tests help check for problems before symptoms are apparent. Patients can use the checklists to record their screening test history and plan follow-up medical appointments. The checklists also provide tips about other things to do to stay healthy, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising.

The Task Force is the leading independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care. The Task Force, which is supported by AHRQ, conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling, and preventive medications. Its recommendations are considered the gold standard for clinical preventive services.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice, and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.

Men: Stay Healthy at 50+, Your Checklists for Health, and Women: Stay Healthy at 50+, Your Checklists for Health are available on the AHRQ Web site at http://www.ahrq.gov/ppip/men50.htm and http://www.ahrq.gov/ppip/women50.htm. The publications may also be ordered from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse.

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