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2 Checklists Aid Those Over 50 With Medical Decisions

Brochures help patients, doctors discuss tests to maintain healthy lifestyle

SATURDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Two new checklists designed to help people over the age of 50 learn what they can do to stay healthy have been released by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the AARP.

The men's and women's checklists include the evidence-based recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force regarding screening tests, preventive medicines and healthy lifestyle behaviors for people 50 and older.

"As we age, what we need to do to stay healthy begins to change. These new easy-to-read checklists help Americans age 50 and older realize the important steps they can take to stay healthy," AHRQ Director Dr. Carolyn M. Clancy said in an agency news release.

The men's and women's Checklists for Health, available in English and Spanish, are brochures that patients can take to medical appointments to help them talk with doctors about necessary preventive screening tests. The checklists also allow patients to record their screening test history and plan follow-up medical appointments.

The AHRQ and AAPR also released an accompanying wall chart -- the Staying Healthy at 50+ timeline -- that's designed to be posted in doctor's offices, senior centers, fitness centers, pharmacies and other public locations.

"Equipping people with the tools and information to stay healthy is important for healthy aging. We are eager to promote the use of these checklists through Aging Network Community Based Partners that reach more than 10.4 million older people and their caregivers and deliver evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention programs," Josefina G. Carbonell, Assistant Secretary for Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in an AHRQ news release.

More information

You can find the checklists at the AHRQ Web site.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, news release, July 17, 2008

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