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Top 10 Blood Tests for Older Adults: What to Know

Pathkind Team 11314 Views
Updated: 13 Oct 2023
Published: 15 Aug 2022
Blood Tests for Older Adults

What is a blood test and why should you get it?

A blood test has a wide range of uses and is one of the most appropriate ways of understanding one’s body. Overall, regular blood testing can help in keeping a track of all the potential health issues. This way, the treatment can also start right away. Getting tested at regular intervals also helps in seeing the way the body reacts to certain elements and eases further decision making processes. A whole body blood test is the ultimate way to stay safe and healthy.

What does a blood test show?

Blood tests are varied in nature. A blood test is performed for various reasons or to figure out related underlying diseases. Some blood tests are also specific in nature and are performed to target specific organs. A blood test also shows progress of medications given by doctors to you. It shows if the medicines are working properly, and there are no side effects. Blood test check up is beneficial for older people as over time, their bodies tend to catch infections and various health issues such as: 

  1. Diabetes
  2. Cancer
  3. Coronary heart disease
  4. Anemia 

Even if the older people don’t have the disease, a blood test will show if there are risks of developing the condition sometime later in the future. 

When should you get a blood test?

A blood test will ensure that awareness is made amongst people about their own health and bodies. A lot of times it happens that the older people become so busy with their lives and jobs that they forget to get their routine check ups. In western countries, it is made compulsory that the citizens need to get a whole body check up twice a year. It is for their own health and welfare. 

What are the top 10 blood tests that you should get?

The top 10 blood tests that one should get upon reaching 30 years of age are: 

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  2. Lipid Panel
  3. Basic metabolic panel (basic electrolyte panel)
  4. Comprehensive metabolic panel
  5. C-reactive protein test
  6. Thyroid panel
  7. Vitamin B12 levels
  8. Glycated hemoglobin (Hemoglobin A1C)
  9. Ferritin
  10. Coagulation panel

1. Complete Blood Count (CBC): 

CBC, also known as Complete Blood Count is a blood test used to detect underlying disorders and health problems. This test is also used to evaluate the overall health of the individual. A complete blood count test is used to measure the several components of the blood such as, red blood cells carrying oxygen, white blood cells fighting infections, hemoglobin, hematocrit also known as plasma, and platelets. 

The reasons why the test is performed: to diagnose a medical condition, to review the overall health, to monitor a medical condition and to monitor a medical treatment. Alarming diseases such as anemia, heart diseases, polycythemia vera, bone marrow problems, certain cancers, inflammation, can be detected through Complete Blood Count Test (CBC). Timely screening of such diseases and disorders can help you avoid further complications and health problems. 

2. Lipid Panel: 

A lipid panel test is done to check the cardiovascular health of patients. The test is performed to check the levels of cholesterol. Having higher levels of cholesterol increases the chances of having heart problems, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. The lipid test checks the levels of two kinds of cholesterols: 

  1. High density lipoprotein also known as the ‘good’ cholesterol
  2. Low density lipoprotein also known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol

High density lipoprotein is known to be good cholesterol since it removes dangerous substances from the blood and eases the process of the liver by removing waste. On the other hand, Low density lipoprotein is known to be bad cholesterol as it can block the arteries. 

3. Basic metabolic panel (basic electrolyte panel):

A basic metabolic test is performed to check for underlying diseases such as kidney diseases, hormonal imbalances and diabetes in older adults. The test mainly focuses on finding the levels of certain compounds such as calcium, glucose, potassium, sodium, bicarbonate, creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen. 

4. Comprehensive metabolic panel

A comprehensive metabolic panel test includes the testing of all the components tested in the basic metabolic panel, along with additional proteins and substances. The test is performed to check several bodily functions such as the health of kidneys and liver, sugar levels, metabolism, or electrolyte imbalances.

5. C-reactive protein test 

A C-reactive Protein (CRP) test is one that is used to measure the levels of C-reactive protein which  is made by the liver that flows in the blood. It is due to inflammation, that this protein gets released into the bloodstream by the liver. Inflammation is the body’s defense mechanism against harmful bacteria and viruses, and also plays a major role in the healing process. 

A CRP test is done to look for underlying diseases and problems. Inflammation is just a reaction which causes uncomfortable and unexplained pains. Hence, the CRP test may be useful for various screening tests.  

6. Thyroid panel:

A thyroid panel test is done to keep a watch on the thyroid gland. The test keeps a track on the diseases that are caused by the dis functioning of the organ. Abnormal levels of the hormones produced by the thyroid gland can cause various symptoms such as weight gain and tiredness. Conditions such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism are checked through this test. 

7. Vitamin B12 levels:

Vitamin B12 is one of the most important vitamins for the human body. In this test, the levels of vitamin B12 is checked, which is necessary for various functions performed by the body. The most important function is the nerve function and the production of DNA and red blood cells. 

8. ESR blood test: 

ESR blood test AKA Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate AKA Sed Rate is primarily a blood test performed to check inflammatory activities in the body. This inflammation can be a reaction due to a surgery, infection, or injury. Inflammation in the body can also be a sign of a chronic disease, an immune related disorder, or any other medical condition. This test is done in older adults to monitor their joints and muscles and to keep a track of potential health problems. 

9. Glycated hemoglobin (Hemoglobin A1C)

When the levels of hemoglobin get merged with the red blood cells, more sugar is absorbed by the blood. This test is generally performed to monitor the blood sugar levels in the patients of diabetes. The A1C detects the sugar levels of a person at a period of 3 months. 

10. Ferritin 

Ferritin is a blood protein consisting mainly of iron. This test measures the levels of iron in the blood. Iron deficiency is harmful in older adults as it leads to anemia. Therefore, it is important to monitor the levels of iron in the blood. 

If you are an older adult, aged between 35-50 years, these are the top 10 tests that you must get on a regular basis. Visit the nearest blood testing lab or book an online blood test with Pathkind.

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