Harvard Men's Health Watch

Passing your physical exam

The annual check-up is important for older men. Here is how to make the most out of your visit.

Men have a long reputation for avoiding check-ups, and that resistance tends not to soften when they are older.

"Many older men put off exams because they fear finding out something is wrong," says Dr. Suzanne Salamon, a geriatrician with Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. "Also, many of today's baby boomers don't think they will have medical problems associated with age, so it can difficult for the 'younger older men,' like those in their 60s and early 70s, to see their doctor."

Yet an annual physical exam is important. Many aspects of your health change on a regular basis as you age. Blood pressure rises and falls, memory loss increases, and risk of heart attack or stroke becomes greater.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »