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Screening Tests for Teens (Ages 13-18)

acreening tests are laboratory tests that help to identify people with increased risk for a condition or disease before they have symptoms or even realize they may be at risk so that preventive measures can be taken. They are an important part of preventive health care.

Teenagers are often considered the healthiest age group. However, habits formed during adolescence will likely affect your child’s health until adulthood. For example, helping an overweight or obese teenager reduce their weight can prevent diabetes and heart disease in recent years.

For adolescents, annual “wellness care” visits do not involve many laboratory tests. Rather, the emphasis is on preparing for adolescent health problems, such as accident and injury prevention, sexual health and avoiding substance abuse. Preventive medicine for teenagers should emphasize healthy lifestyle choices that help protect against diseases that occur in adulthood.

Not everyone in this age group may need screening tests for all the conditions listed here. Read the sections below for more information on each condition and to determine if the test may be appropriate for you or your family member. You should discuss screening options with your healthcare professional.


There are many serious health consequences of being obese, including an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, joint problems, sleep apnea and social and psychological problems. Children who continue to be overweight to adulthood have an increased risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.


Routine exams of obesity in children from 2 years. At least once a year, a health professional should assess the weight status of a child.
The child’s weight and height, as well as age and gender are considered to determine the percentile of the child’s body mass index (BMI). BMI is a useful tool for estimating body fat.

  • Overweight: An overweight child (one whose BMI is between the 85th percentile and the 94th percentile in the standardized growth charts) faces additional health risks.
  • Obese: an obese child (in the 95th percentile or higher in standardized growth charts) faces even more serious health risks.


While most cases of type 1 diabetes are diagnosed in children under 18, the signs and symptoms often develop rapidly and the diagnosis is often made in an emergency room. Thirty percent of new cases of type 1 diabetes in children have diabetic ketoacidosis. Therefore, blood glucose measurements such as detection of type 1 diabetes in asymptomatic children are currently not necessary.

Risk factor’s

Overweight, obesity and physical inactivity are factors that contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, and have also become national health problems. As public health experts work to educate Americans about how to avoid diabetes and its serious complications, parents and children should be aware that healthy eating habits and activity options can reduce an individual’s risk. of developing type 2 diabetes and related complications later in life.

These risk factors include:

  • Having a close relative with type 2 diabetes
  • Be Native American, African American, Latino, Asian American or Pacific Islander
  • Having signs or conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as acanthosis nigricans, high blood pressure (hypertension), unhealthy lipid levels (dyslipidemia), polycystic ovary syndrome or having a reduced birth weight (small for gestational age)
  • Having a biological mother with diabetes or gestational diabetes.


  • Consider assessing overweight children who have 2 or more additional diabetes risk factors every 3 years, starting at 10 years of age or at the onset of puberty if that occurs earlier.
  • Screen using one of the following tests:
    • Fasting glucose (fasting blood glucose, FBG): This test measures the level of blood glucose after fasting for 8 to 12 hours.
    • Hemoglobin A1c (also called A1c or glycosylated hemoglobin): This test evaluates the average amount of glucose in the blood during the last 2 to 3 months and has been recommended as another test to detect diabetes.
    • 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT): This test involves taking a fasting blood sample to measure glucose, followed by the person taking a solution containing 1.75 g of glucose per kilogram of body weight up to a maximum of 75 grams and then take another sample two hours after the person begins to consume the glucose solution.

If any of these results is abnormal, the test is repeated another day. If the repeated result is also abnormal, a diagnosis of diabetes is made.

High Cholesterol

Starting in childhood, the waxy substance called cholesterol and other fatty substances known as lipids begin to accumulate in the arteries, hardening into plaques that narrow the arterial ducts. During adulthood, plaque buildup and the resulting health problems occur not only in the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle but in the arteries throughout the body (a problem known as atherosclerosis). For both men and women in the United States, the main cause of death is heart disease, and the amount of cholesterol in the blood greatly affects a person’s chances of getting it.
Monitoring and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels are important for staying healthy. The detection of high cholesterol, usually with a lipid profile, is important because there are generally no symptoms. A lipid profile generally includes total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Non-HDL cholesterol can also be calculated by subtracting the HDL-C value from the total cholesterol result.

Lead is a metal that was once a common additive for household paint and leaded gasoline and was used in water pipes and as welding in canned foods.
The soil surrounding these houses may also be contaminated with lead. Children who live, play or spend time in these environments are at risk of being exposed to this metal and can carry lead to their bodies by inhaling or ingesting contaminated dust, water, paint chips or items contaminated with lead.
Exposure of a young child to lead can damage the brain and other organs and cause behavioral problems and developmental delays. Even at low levels, lead can cause irreversible damage without causing physical symptoms, and cognitive impairment may not be noticed until the child enters school.


An assessment of the risk of exposure to lead should be performed on visits by a healthy child at 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months and at 3, 4, 5 and 6 years of age. A blood lead level test should be performed only if the risk assessment is positive.
Universal screening or blood lead level tests are no longer recommended, except for children in high prevalence areas with increased risk factors.

Pediatricians can also offer screening tests for:

  • Children eligible for Medicaid at the age of 1 year and again at 2 years of age
  • Children of all ages who are recent immigrants, refugees or adopted as soon as possible
  • A child whose parent, guardian or provider requests a blood lead test due to suspected exposure

Individuals should consult with their health professional and / or the local health department about specific lead detection guidelines for risks in their area.


Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteriaTuberculosis is primarily directed to the lungs, but it can affect any area of the body. It can be transmitted through the air from person to person through droplets of respiratory secretions such as sputum or aerosols released by coughing, sneezing, laughing or breathing.

TB in children is a public health concern because it is a marker for recent transmission of the bacteria, and infants and young children are more likely than older children and adults to develop life-threatening forms of the disease.


Due to their weak immune system, babies under 2 years old are especially susceptible to this infection. Tests with a tuberculin skin test are recommended for children who are at risk for TB, which include:

  • If a baby has been exposed to someone with active or suspected TB, such as a family member or other contact
  • He is an immigrant from a country where TB is endemic or has traveled to those countries for more than a week.

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Children grow and develop quickly and need iron in their diet to develop normally. If a child does not consume enough iron, there is a risk of developing iron deficiency. Iron deficiency can cause anemia, a condition that can delay a child’s mental, motor, and behavioral development and create problems that last long after the iron level rises to a healthy level. Bad motor skills, behavioral problems at home and at school, and poor performance at school can be the long-term consequences of not getting enough iron as a young child (0 to 3 years old).


Children will be evaluated with a hemoglobin and hematocrit test if they have risk factors for iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia.

Risk factors for iron deficiency anemia in young children may include:

  • Exclusive breastfeeding after 4 months of age without supplemental iron
  • Households with low income or living in poverty
  • Drink more than 24 ounces of cow’s milk per day after 12 months of age.
  • History of:
    • Medications that interfere with iron absorption.
    • Extensive blood loss
    • Restricted diet that does not provide enough iron
    • Prematurity or low birth weight
    • Lead exposure

High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the force that your blood exerts on arterial walls. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when that force is constantly too high.

High blood pressure in children is rare, but it can be a serious problem. About 3.5 percent of children and adolescents have high blood pressure. Approximately the same percentage of children have a blood pressure that is above what is considered optimal, but not high enough to diagnose as hypertension. Among obese and overweight children, the high blood pressure rate can reach almost 25%.

The detection of high blood pressure in children is important because over time, hypertension can damage a child’s circulatory system and contribute to heart attackstroke and other health problems later in life. In general, the longer a child has high blood pressure, the greater the potential for damage to the child’s heart and other organs, including the kidneys, brain or eyes.

The detection of hypertension in children is also important because it can be an indicator of underlying conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease.

how is the arterial pressure measured?

There are two numbers measured for blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart beats. Diastolic Blood pressure is when the heart relaxes between beats and the pressure drops. Together, they are written as systolic about diastolic pressure. For example, a blood pressure of 120/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) corresponds to a systolic pressure of 120 and a diastolic pressure of 80.

What is normal blood pressure?

Begin the blood pressure measurement for healthy children at 3 years and then measure it annually. Children under 3 years old should have their blood pressure measured at each medical visit if they increase the risk of developing hypertension. Some of these risks include:

The conditions include:

Chlamydia and Gonorrhea

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the most common sexually transmitted bacterial diseases (STDs) but many infected people have no symptoms. These infections usually affect the genitals, but they can also cause infections in other areas, such as the throat and rectum. Pregnant women can transmit infections to their newborns. If left untreated, these diseases can cause infertility and other health complications. However, both diseases can be cured with antibiotics.

The reported rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea are higher among adolescents (15-19 years) and young women (20-24 years). However, any sexually active person can become infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea. Many people have both infections at the same time.


Sexually active adolescents face an increased risk of chlamydia and gonorrhea infection, compared to adults over 25 years.

Examples of other risk factors include:

Previous infections with chlamydia or gonorrhea, even if you received treatment

  • Having STDs, especially HIV
  • Have new or multiple sex partners
  • Having a sexual partner diagnosed with an STD
  • Use condoms inconsistently
  • Exchange sex for money or drugs
  • Use illegal drugs
  • Live in a detention center.

Both girls and teenage boys who are treated for chlamydia or gonorrhea infection are reass’e

ssed approximately 3 months after treatment or at their next health care visit, regardless of whether they believe their sexual partners were treated. It is important to continue with the annual detection of these diseases because reinfection is always possible.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), a life-threatening disease. Initially, an HIV infection may not cause symptoms or cause nonspecific flu-like symptoms that resolve after a short period of time. The only way to determine if a person has been infected is through HIV testing.

If the infection is not detected and treated, eventually the symptoms of AIDS emerge and begin to get progressively worse. Without treatment, HIV destroys the immune system over time and leaves a person’s body vulnerable to debilitating infections.

HIV is transmitted in the following ways:

  • When having sex with an infected partner
  • By sharing needles or syringes (as with intravenous injection drug abuse)
  • During pregnancy or childbirth; If a pregnant woman is infected with HIV, the virus can be transmitted and infect her developing baby.
  • By contact with infected blood
  • Due to the detection of blood for transfusion techniques and heat treatment and other blood derivative treatments.

Know your risk

Several situations put you at high risk of contracting HIV:

  • You have had unprotected sex with more than one partner.
  • You have or have had a sexually transmitted disease (STD), which seems to make people more susceptible and at a higher risk of contracting HIV infection during sex with infected partners.
  • You are a man who has had sexual contact with another man.
  • You have exchanged sex for money or drugs or have had anonymous sex.
  • You use or use injectable drugs and have probably shared non-sterile needles.
  • You have an HIV positive sexual partner.
  • You have had sex with someone who is in one of the categories mentioned above or you are not sure about the risk behaviors of your sexual partner.
  • You have been diagnosed or treated for hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB).

Screening Tests

Hepatitis B

HBV is one of the five “hepatitis viruses” identified so far that it is known to primarily infect the liver. It is transmitted through contact with blood or other body fluids of an infected person, such as during sexual intercourse or by sharing needles, razors or toothbrushes, and can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her baby during or after birth.

HBV infection can be acute or chronic, and the course of infection varies from a mild form that lasts only a few weeks to a more severe form that lasts for years and can cause complications such as cirrhosis or liver cancer.


  • Health and public safety workers with possible exposure to infected blood or other body fluids.
  • People born in areas of the world that have a prevalence of HBV greater than 2% (for example, much of Asia and Africa), regardless of whether they have been vaccinated
  • People born in the US UU. But they were not vaccinated early in life and whose parents are from an area with a prevalence of HBV greater than 8%
  • Men who have sex with men.
  • Injectable drug users
  • People who have elevated liver enzymes (ALT and AST) with no known cause
  • People with certain medical conditions that require suppression of the immune system, such as organ transplant recipients.
  • Dialysis patients
  • People who are in close contact with someone infected with HBV or who have a sexual partner with HBV (that is, have tested positive for HBsAg)
  • Those infected with HIV
  • People who were vaccinated against HBV after starting high-risk behavior (for example, men who have sex with men and injecting drug users)

Possible References Used

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