A day used to celebrate the economic, social and political achievement of women and to also remind women about their health needs, risks and recommended screening tests.

  • The Lancet listed the top 10 international deadliest health risks as:
  • High blood pressure
  • High BMI ( body mass index)
  • High blood sugar
  • High salt diet
  • Low fruit and vegetable diet
  • High total cholesterol
  • Alcohol use
  • Low physical activity
  • Low glomerular filtration rate ( indicator of kidney function)

The study shows that the most dangerous factors have changed since 1990 from causes associated with lack of basic necessities to those of excess. The single deadliest group of factors were all tied to how people eat, including diets high in salt, trans fatty acids, sugary drinks and processed meats and low in fruits, vegetables, whole-grains and omega 3s.

Health screening is an important part of disease prevention and a GP is well placed to carry out or advise on self screening  and refer for tests needed. Recommendations change according to age, and specific risks such as family or personal  history.

  • Weight, every 2 years from 18 years, with waist and BMI calculation, more often if abnormal
  • Blood pressure, 2 yearly from the age of 18 years, more often if not within target
  • Blood sugar and renal function blood test, depending on individual risk factors such as weight and family history and race. Recommended 3 yearly from 45 years unless at higher risk.
  • Blood lipids, 2 yearly from the age of 45 years unless individual risks are higher
  • Breast screen, for women with no symptoms the recommendations are to be Breast Aware , and after the  age of 50 years to commence two yearly mammograms except those individuals at higher risk
  • PAP smears are recommended every 2 years from the age of 18 to 70 or 2 years after the first time of having sex
  • Glaucoma check is recommended from 40 years unless risk factors exist
  • Skin check for those at high risk of melanoma,  otherwise the current recommendation is to be self-aware with 3 monthly reviews and report changes to your doctor
  • Dental checks, the frequency determined by the dentist, usually 6-12 monthly
  • Bowel cancer screen - either faecal occult blood test done two yearly after the age of 50 years or colonoscopy for those at higher risk, for example family history


RACGP. Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice. ( September 2015 Dr Ali Mokdad, University of Washington )

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