Women Annual Check Ups

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee
President, Heart Care Foundation of India

The leading causes of morbidity and mortality should be identified. For women, these are

*Heart disease (25.2%);
*Malignant diseases (22.1%); and
*Cerebrovascular disease (6.7%).

The 3 most common cancers in women are
1. breast cancer
2. lung cancer
3. colorectal cancer

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends the first women’s health visit to take place between 13 and 15 years of age, and it should be followed with yearly visits.

Recommendations are provided by age groups (13-18 years, 19-39 years, 40-64 years, 65 years and older).

For all age groups, the visit comprises a review of a patient’s medical history and a physical examination. Sexual behavior, nutrition, fitness, and risk factors that place patients at above average risk for certain common medical problems should be assessed in all age groups.

Cervical cancer screening and screening for sexually transmitted infections must start early. The human papillomavirus vaccine is also recommended in the 2 younger age groups.

In women 40 plus screening for colorectal cancer, diabetes, and hypothyroidism should be conducted periodically. Mammography should be started.

In older women, bone mineral density assessment is recommended biannually.

In women older than 30 years of age, cervical cytology can be performed less frequently: once every 3 years in the absence of risk factors or if HPV testing is negative.