ZocdocAnswersHow often should I get bloodwork done?

Question

How often should I get bloodwork done?

I am a 24 year old newly graduated college student who is now on my own and am under my own insurance. How often should i get bloodwork done to check for things like high blood pressure and other problems. My family has a long history of disease and medical issues and i am curious to know how soon i should start checking for future problems.

Answer

You should make an appointment to see a primary care doctor now. He or she will review your medical problems and family history to determine when you need to be screened for medical problems. Your blood pressure will be checked during that visit, and depending on your history you may be screened for high cholesterol and/or diabetes. If you have a family history of cancer, your physician can determine when you need to start screening for colon, breast, cervical and other cancers, and can refer you to a genetic counselor if necessary. Your vaccinations will be reviewed and updated if necessary. Finally, you will be screened for common illnesses and dangerous behaviors for your age group, such as risky alcohol intake, smoking, sexually transmitted diseases, depression, and weight disorders. This is especially important if you are a woman (gender is not specified above), as you will need a pap smear, discussion of contraceptive options, and evaluation of bone health in addition to the above work up. If the evaluation is completely normal, then your doctor may not need to see you again for a year or more, but you will have a relationship that will allow you to come in quickly for an accurate evaluation if you become sick or have health questions in the future.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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