Preventive Health Guide. Smart Steps Toward Better Health

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1 Preventive Health Guide Smart Steps Toward Better Health

2 Plan to: Get regular health exams + Keep immunizations current Maintain a healthy weight Use health tools on bcbst.com Protect Your Health with Good Preventive Care One of the best ways to maintain good health and prevent future health concerns for you and your family is to focus on preventive care the healthy lifestyle choices, vaccines, exams and medical tests that doctors recommend at certain times in your life. Your Well+WiseSM resources, programs and tools from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee offer you information, support and assistance to help you follow a healthy lifestyle and avoid the risk of unnecessary and preventable illness and disease. With Well+Wise support, you can make positive steps toward better health, and Plan Now for Better Health and a Better Life more informed choices about your personal health and wellbeing. Many diseases and serious illnesses can be prevented simply by being proactive about your health and changing your lifestyle. Getting your health exams regularly, keeping current on immunizations, and maintaining a healthy weight are all ways to protect against illness. Even making small lifestyle changes such as becoming more physically active can reduce your risk of high blood pressure and help you avoid heart disease and stroke. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is your plan for a lifetime of better health, with Well+Wise programs, resources and information to help you improve and maintain your good health. In addition to this brochure, check your benefit plan materials and our Web site, bcbst.com, for tips and tools to help you make smart choices about your health and health care spending. Then contact your doctor and start a plan toward good preventive care and smart lifestyle choices for The preventive health guidelines in Smart Steps Toward Better Health are based on recommendations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other nationally recognized authorities on health. These preventive health guidelines are meant to be used as a general guide for educational purposes only. You should always discuss your specific preventive care needs with your doctor. Services described in Smart Steps Toward Better Health may not be covered benefits under your health benefit plan. Please check your Evidence of Coverage and benefit plan materials to determine if services are covered benefits under your particular plan. you and every member of your family. 1

3 Start by Getting Involved DO THIS TODAY Eight Smart Ways to Stay Healthy and Prevent Disease People who are more involved in their care get better results. So taking an active role in learning more about your health and making decisions about your care is the most important thing you can do to ensure high-quality health care. Here s how: Choose well. Develop a good doctor/patient relationship with a doctor who knows you and your medical history. Make sure everyone taking care of you knows important facts about your health, such as allergies or drug sensitivities. Speak up. Ask your doctor any questions you have about symptoms, tests, medications or treatments. Your doctor should provide clear, honest answers. Monitor your medications. Prescribed drugs can be dangerous when combined with other medications, foods and products. Show your doctor all the drugs, vitamins and herbal products you use. Ask about cost-effective generics. Always check the prescription label at the pharmacy to make sure you get the right drug. Be informed. If your doctor recommends a certain drug, test or procedure, know why. Ask about the options and check the benefits, drawbacks and risks of each. Consider a second opinion, when appropriate. Check results. Be sure you learn the results of any tests and what they mean to your health. Call if you don t hear back from your doctor or lab when expected. Follow up. Follow your doctor s orders between visits and always call your doctor if your symptoms get worse, you have medication side effects, or you develop complications while recovering from a procedure. Size Up Your Health at BCBST.com with a Personal Health Analysis How healthy is your everyday routine? Take a quick and easy Personal Health Analysis at bcbst.com and find out. The online questionnaire can point out your potential health risks and show you ways to take action now to help avoid future illness or disease. It can even let you know if you are eligible for certain Well+Wise lifestyle and health coaching programs and how to enroll or participate. Just go to bcbst.com, click on Health Tools, and choose the Personal Health Analysis. Each of the major causes of death heart disease, stroke, cancer, lung disease and injury can be prevented by things you do. Taking charge of your health and living a healthy lifestyle helps you maintain your good health and avoid diseases. Quick tips for prevention include: Don t smoke or use tobacco Bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema and other lung diseases are preventable simply by not smoking. Need to quit? Set a date, get a support system, and throw out everything tobacco related. Talk to your doctor about a smoking cessation program that s right for you. Limit alcohol intake and avoid illegal drugs Too much alcohol can damage your liver and contribute to throat and liver cancer. Limit alcohol to two drinks a day or less. Stay away from illegal drugs and talk to your doctor about any substance problems. Exercise and lose weight Exercise can help prevent many illnesses including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, depression and stroke. Exercise 30 minutes every day and make walking a part of your regular routine. Eat right A healthy, well-balanced diet is important one that includes vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products and whole grains. Drink at least six to eight glasses of water each day. Control cholesterol and high blood pressure Reduce your fat intake and exercise regularly. To keep your cholesterol down, eat less sodium, lose weight, and take your medication as prescribed. Keep your shots up-to-date Adults need shots too. Ask your doctor what vaccinations need a booster, and if you need a yearly flu shot. Ask about health screenings Screening tests can detect diseases early, when they re most treatable. Talk to your doctor about what tests are right for you. Find a balance between work, home and play Your health is your most valuable asset. Dedicate time to keeping your mind and body in shape, and be sure to include a stress-reduction activity in your daily routine. 2 3

4 Children s Health Children s Health Recommended Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule Age Vaccine Birth Hepatitis B 1 month Rota Rota Rota Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis Haemophilus influenzae type b Pneumococcal Inactivated Poliovirus Birth to Age 2 Review the blood tests that were done in the hospital at birth to check for inherited diseases Ask about your baby s sleeping, crying, eating, bowel and bladder habits Check size of baby s head Check blood iron level for anemia Beginning at Age 3 Check blood pressure Check urine to look for problems or disease Beginning at Age 14 Check blood for problems 4 Help your child maintain a healthy weight by: Providing proper foods and encouraging regular exercise Promoting a diet low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol Demonstrating healthy eating practices for kids to follow Need More Information? BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee offers Born to Move, a family-friendly video that shows simple and effective ways to avoid or address childhood obesity and keep kids on track for a healthy future. View the video on ChannelBlue at bcbst.com, or to request a free DVD for your church or parent group Range of recommended ages PPV Influenza () Catch-up immunization Series Influenza () MMR MMR Varicella Varicella Varicella Certain high-risk groups MMR Series Varicella Series HepA Series HepA (2 doses) Human Papillomavirus Guard Against Childhood Obesity In addition to keeping your child up-to-date with wellchild visits, parents should take preventive measures to safeguard children against obesity. Successfully preventing obesity in childhood may reduce the risk of becoming an overweight adult Series Meningococcal Beginning at Age 18 Perform Pap test for girls beginning at age 18 or when sexual activity begins 4-6 Measles, Mumps, Rubella Hepatitis A Birth to Age 18 Perform a complete unclothed physical exam Give immunizations to prevent disease Measure height and weight Check vision Check hearing Look for dental problems Check developmental progress 2-3 Rotavirus Influenza Getting regular well-child visits is a huge component in maintaining your child s health. Visits are frequent for infants and young children to complete immunizations against many dangerous childhood diseases and to monitor growth and development. Even though your child may look healthy, your child could still have a health problem. Regular checkups help find problems early before they become serious. Here s what you can expect the doctor or medical provider to do during the following visits: months months months months months months months MPSV4 MCV4 HPV 3 Doses MCV43 MCV4 HPV From time to time, immunization schedules change. Check with your doctor for the most recent immunization schedule or go to: This Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule was approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices ( the American Academy of Pediatrics ( and the American Academy of Family Physicians ( Definitions Diphtheria (D) A severe infectious disease of the throat and lungs. Causes sore throat and difficulty breathing. H. Influenzae type b () A serious disease of the lungs that may last from two to seven days. This disease may also cause an infection of the covering of the brain that could lead to death. Hepatitis A (Hep A) A disease of the liver. This disease can be caught through contaminated water or food; travelers in countries with poor sanitation are at great risk. Hepatitis B (Hep B) A disease of the liver that can cause serious sickness, permanent liver damage, and death. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) A common sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other cancers and to genital warts. Influenza A contagious respiratory illness cause by influenza viruses. Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) These are three different diseases. Measles causes high fever, weakness, congestion, cough, and raised red bumps/spots over the entire body. Mumps causes swelling of the jaw and neck, and can lead to loss of hearing. It can also lead to sexual sterility in severe cases. Rubella (German measles) can cause birth defects if a woman with the disease is pregnant. Meningococcal A serious illness caused by a bacteria. Meningitis is an infection of fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Pertussis (P) This infection (also called whooping cough) causes a serious cough that will last for many weeks; pertussis can cause death. Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine () Streptococcus pneumoniae is one of the most common causes of meningitis, sepsis, pneumonia and otitis media. This disease causes about 200 deaths yearly in children ages 5 and younger. Polio () This disease causes loss of body function and paralysis. This disease may lead to death. Rotavirus A virus that infects the intestinal tract of almost all young children by age five. It causes stomach pain and diarrhea. Tetanus (Ta) Also called lockjaw, this is a disease of the nervous system that causes severe muscle pain. This disease usually leads to death. Varicella (Var) A blistering disease commonly known as chicken pox. 5

5 Women s Health Women s Health Preventive Screening Tests and Immunization Guidelines for Women (continued) Screening Tests Ages Ages Ages Ages 65 and Older Reproductive Health: Pap test & Pelvic exam Every 1-3 if sexually active or are older than 21. Every 1-3. Every 1-3. Chlamydia test, until age 25 if sexually active. Older than age 25, get this test if you have new or multiple partners. All pregnant women should have this test. Get this test if you have new or multiple partners. All pregnant women should have this test. Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) tests HIV, before initiating sexual Colorectal Health: Fecal occult blood test Flexible Sigmoidoscopy (with fecal occult blood test preferred) Every 5 (if not Every 5 (if not While it s true that women are typically in charge of making family health and medical decisions, it s also true that women can easily neglect their own health. Don t let busy schedules, work commitments, family events and activities stand in the way of your good health. When you take care of yourself first, you ll be better prepared to care for others, as well. Take the right preventive measures and keep up to date with your screenings to help prevent disease and stay healthy. Visit your doctor or medical provider annually and see your dentist twice a year to have your teeth checked and cleaned. Preventive Screening Tests and Immunization Guidelines for Women Screening Tests Ages Ages Ages Ages 65 and Older General Health: Full checkup, including weight and height Thyroid test (TSH) Start at age 35, then every 5 Every 5 Every 5 Every 5 Double Contrast Barium Enema (DCBE) Colonoscopy Every 5-10 Every 5-10 Rectal exam Eye and Ear Health: Eye exam Hearing test Skin Health: Mole exam Oral Health: Dental exam Get your eyes checked if you have problems or visual changes. Starting at age 18, then every 10 self-exam; by a doctor every 3,from age 20. Every 2-4 Every 2-4 Every 1-2 Every 10 Every 3 Every 3 self-exam; by a doctor. Every 5-10 (if not having a colonoscopy or Every 5-10 with each screening (sigmoidoscopy, selfexam; by a doctor every year. Every 5-10 (if not having a colonoscopy or Every 5-10 with each screening (sigmoidoscopy, selfexam; by a doctor. Heart Health: Blood pressure test At least every 2 At least every 2 At least every 2 At least every 2 Mental Health Screening Cholesterol test Bone Health: Bone mineral density test Diabetes: Blood glucose test Breast Health: Mammogram (X-ray of breast) Start at age 20, discuss with your doctor or nurse. Start at age 45, then every 3. Every 1-2. Every 3. Every 1-2. Get a bone mineral density test at least once. Talk to your doctor or nurse about repeat testing. Every 3. Every 1-2. Immunizations: Influenza vaccine Pneumococcal vaccine Human papilloma-virus vaccine (HPV) Meningococcal vaccine Tetanus-Diphtheria Booster vaccine Zoster Vaccine (Shingles) doctor or nurse if attending college. Every 10 Every 10 Every 10 Every Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Screening Tests and Immunization Guidelines for Women

6 Men s Health Leading causes of death for men are mainly diseases and illnesses that are highly preventable, including heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries (accidents), stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, diabetes, flu, suicide, kidney disease and chronic liver disease. Make a commitment today to start living a healthy lifestyle. Begin by taking preventive measures to decrease your chances of developing chronic diseases. You ll increase your chances of living a longer, healthier life. Ages Ages Ages Ages 65 and Older Heart Health: Blood pressure test At least every 2 At least every 2 At least every 2 At least every 2 Cholesterol test Start age 20, discuss with your Diabetes: Blood glucose test Start at age 45, then every 3. Every 3 Every 3 Prostate Health: Digital Rectal Exam Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) (blood test) Reproductive Health: Testicular exam Monthly self-exam and part of general checkup. Monthly self-exam and part of general checkup. Monthly self-exam and part of general checkup. Monthly self-exam and part of general checkup. Chlamydia test Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) tests HIV, before initiating sexual Colorectal Health: Fecal occult blood test Flexible Sigmoidoscopy (with fecal occult blood test preferred) Every 5 (if not Every 5 (if not Double Contrast Barium Enema (DCBE) Every 5-10 (if not having a colonoscopy or Every 5-10 (if not having a colonoscopy or Colonoscopy Every 10 Every 10 Every 5-10 with each screening (sigmoidoscopy, Every 5-10 with each screening (sigmoidoscopy, Eye and Ear Health: Eye exam Get your eyes checked if you have problems or visual changes. Every 2-4 Every 2-4 Every 1-2 Hearing test Starting at age 18, then every 10 Every 10 Every 3 Every 3 Skin Health: Mole exam every 3, starting at age Do Not Smoke Smoking is directly responsible for many diseases of the lungs and heart. If you smoke, quit today. There are resources, medications, and other forms of support that can help. Talk to your doctor about quitting. Oral Health: Dental exam every year Mental Health Screening Get Routine Exams Routine exams and screenings can help save lives. Stay on top of your health by visiting your doctor every 1 to 3. While at your checkup, be sure to talk to your doctor about the recommended screening tests and other ways to prevent disease. Immunizations: Influenza vaccine Eat Healthy What you eat and drink matters. Make time for a balanced diet. Maintain a Healthy Weight Being obese is the primary cause of many chronic diseases and debilitating conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Exercise Aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day. Even something as fun and natural as walking can become a substantial part of your exercise routine. Be Safe; Protect Yourself Lower your risks against unintentional injury by being aware of safety rules for fires, falls, water, poisons and other accidents. Always wear your safety belt when driving and protect your mental health by reducing the stress in your life. 8 Screening Tests General Health: Full checkup, including weight and height Rectal exam Here s what you can do to start living healthy: Men s Health Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Men s Health Pneumococcal vaccine Tetanus-Diphtheria Booster vaccine Zoster Vaccine (Shingles) Every 10 Every 10 Every 10 Every 10 Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Screening Tests and Immunization Guidelines for Men 9

7 BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Inc., an Independent Licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association Registered marks of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, an Association of Independent BlueCross BlueShield Plans This document has been classified as public information WW-002 (2/08)

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