NHS Health Checks
If you’re aged between 40 and 74 and have not had a stroke or been diagnosed with heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease or diabetes then you might be eligible for a free health check. Having an NHS Health Check will better prepare you for the future and will enable you to take steps to maintain or improve your health.
Why should I have an NHS Health Check?
As you get older the risk of developing illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and certain types of dementia increases. There are also certain things that will put you at even greater risk:
- being overweight
- being physically inactive
- not eating healthily
- drinking too much alcohol
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
Both men and women are at risk but the good news is that these conditions can often be treated. The NHS Health Check will help you identify your risk earlier.
What will happen at the check?
The check will only take 20-30 minutes and will involve the health professional asking a few simple questions. These will include questions about your family history and the lifestyle choices that may be putting your health at risk. The health professional will also make a note of your height, weight, age, sex and ethnicity as well as test your blood pressure. Finally, they will do a simple blood test to check your cholesterol level.
What will happen after the check?
The health professional will talk you through the results and explain what they mean, giving you personalised advice on how to lower your risk and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If the check reveals a high blood pressure or a risk of developing type 2 diabetes, you might need some further blood tests to investigate this. The health professional will be able to tell you more. They may suggest that there are lifestyle factors you could change such as stopping smoking or losing weight that would help to reduce your risk. You may also be prescribed further treatment or medication to help you maintain your health. Find out more about what your results mean as well as information on making sure you have a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) and blood pressure here.
How do I get an NHS Health Check?
If you are aged between 40 and 74 and haven’t previously been diagnosed with any of the above illnesses you may be invited by the practice to book a Health Check. Don’t forget that even if you’re feeling healthy, it’s still worth having your check because the health professional can help you reduce your risk of developing these health problems in the future