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Am Fam Physician. 2013 Jan 1;87(1):30-7.

Health maintenance in women.

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University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


The health maintenance examination is an opportunity to focus on disease prevention and health promotion. The patient history should include screening for tobacco use, alcohol misuse, intimate partner violence, and depression. Premenopausal women should receive preconception counseling and contraception as needed, and all women planning or capable of pregnancy should take 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid per day. High-risk sexually active women should be counseled on reducing the risk of sexually transmitted infections, and screened for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. All women should be screened for human immunodeficiency virus. Adults should be screened for obesity and elevated blood pressure. Women 20 years and older should be screened for dyslipidemia if they are at increased risk of coronary heart disease. Those with sustained blood pressure greater than 135/80 mm Hg should be screened for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Women 55 to 79 years of age should take 75 mg of aspirin per day when the benefits of stroke reduction outweigh the increased risk of gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Women should begin cervical cancer screening by Papanicolaou test at 21 years of age, and if results have been normal, screening may be discontinued at 65 years of age or after total hysterectomy. Breast cancer screening with mammography may be considered in women 40 to 49 years of age based on patients' values, and potential benefits and harms. Mammography is recommended biennially in women 50 to 74 years of age. Women should be screened for colorectal cancer from 50 to 75 years of age. Osteoporosis screening is recommended in women 65 years and older, and in younger women with a similar risk of fracture. Adults should be immunized at recommended intervals according to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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