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NHS Health Checks
Posted on 26 Apr 2021
The NHS Health Check is a free check-up of your overall health. It can tell you whether you're at higher risk of getting certain health problems, such as:
- heart disease
- kidney disease
During the check-up you'll also discuss how to reduce your risk of these conditions and dementia.
If you're over 65, you will also be told the signs and symptoms of dementia to look out for.
How will the NHS Health Check help me?
You will have your individual cardiovascular risk (risk of getting conditions related to the heart or circulation) calculated and explained to you.
While the cardiovascular risk levels vary from person to person, everyone is at risk of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and some types of dementia.
At your NHS Health Check you will be given advice on how to prevent them.
Your NHS Health Check can detect potential health problems before they do real damage.
What happens at the NHS Health Check?
An NHS Health Check takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
The nurse will ask you some questions about your lifestyle and family history, measure your height and weight, and take your blood pressure and do a blood test. The blood test will be done either before the check with a blood sample from your arm, or at the check.
Your blood test results can show your chances of getting heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes.
You will then receive personalised advice to improve your risk. This could include talking about:
- how to improve your diet and the amount of physical activity you do
- taking medicines to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol
- how to lose weight or stop smoking
How can I arrange to have an NHS Health Check?
You'll be invited for a free NHS Health Check every 5 years if you're between 40 and 74 years of age and do not already have a pre-existing condition.
If you're within the relevant age you should automatically get an invitation. Do not worry if you have not been invited yet – you will be over the next 5 years.