United States Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations

For the general population, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) reviews the evidence for screening a variety of health issues, and grades the evidence based on the strength of the evidence and the magnitude of net benefit. Recommendations for population-based screening that earned grade A (strongly recommended) or grade B (recommended) in a 2006 review for adult men and women are the following: obesity, depression, and high blood pressure screening for persons of all ages, syphilis screening for "persons at increased risk," colorectal cancer screening at age 50, diabetes type 2 screening for adults with hypertension or hyperlipidemia, and lipid disorder screening per age and gender (men, age 35; women, age 45) ("Guide to Clinical Preventive Services," 2006). Additional procedures are recommended for women: breast cancer screening (mammography) at age 40, cervical cancer screening if sexually active, chlamydial infection screening women 25 and younger or at increased risk, and osteoporosis screening for women 65 or older, postmenopausal, or at increased risk for osteoporotic fractures. Men age 65-75 with a history of ever smoking should be screened for abdominal aortic aneurysm via ultrasonography.

These recommendations are based on a critical review of the evidence for screening in the general population and may need to be reevaluated within correctional settings. For instance, all persons in correctional facilities should be evaluated for syphilis infection, while osteoporosis screening may not be appropriate in many settings (i.e., a central intake facility). None of these conditions, however, are known to occur at lower rates within corrections. Therefore, any facility that provides primary care to the incarcerated should access all of the USPSTF recommended procedures.

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