Press Release Date: July 15, 2008

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the AARP today released two new checklists designed to help men and women over the age of 50 learn what they can do to stay healthy and prevent disease.

AHRQ and AARP also released an accompanying wall chart, the Staying Healthy at 50+ timeline, that provides information about recommended preventive services and can be posted in both clinical and community settings. These three publications  Men: Stay Healthy at 50+, Checklists for Your Health; Women: Stay Healthy at 50+, Checklists for Your Health;and the Staying Healthy at 50+ timeline show at a glance 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,” said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. “These new easy-to-read checklists help Americans age 50 and older realize the important steps they can take to stay healthy.”

Checklists for Health, available in English and Spanish, are brochures that adults can take along to medical appointments and are designed to help patients and clinicians engage in discussions about necessary preventive screening tests. Unlike diagnostic tests, which clinicians order when they suspect someone has a disease, screening tests help check for problems before symptoms are apparent. Patients can use the checklists to record their screening test history and plan follow-up medical appointments. Both checklists also provide tips about other things to do to stay healthy, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising.

“We all have a personal stake in making wellness and prevention a top priority,” said Cheryl Matheis, AARP senior vice president of health strategies. “We are delighted to be part of this effort to increase public awareness and participation in age-appropriate health screenings that can often prevent or delay expensive and debilitating chronic diseases.”

The Staying Healthy at 50+ timeline displays the Task Force’s recommendations for preventive care for men and women age 50 and older in a wall chart, and it is designed to be posted in places such as clinicians’ 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,” said Josefina G. Carbonell, Assistant Secretary for Aging of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “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.”

The Task Force is the leading independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care. The Task Force, which is supported by AHRQ, conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling and preventive medications. Its recommendations are considered the gold standard for clinical preventive services.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.

Men: Stay Healthy at 50+, Your Checklists for Health and Women: Stay Healthy at 50+, Your Checklists for Health are available on the AHRQ Web site at and The Staying Healthy at 50+ timeline is also available on the AHRQ Web site at The publications may be ordered by calling AHRQ’s Publications Clearinghouse at 1-800-358-9295 or sending an E-mail to

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs: (301) 427-1246 or (301) 427-1244.