Advice

Published on March 13th, 2017 | by admin

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2500 Heart Attacks and Strokes Prevented Through NHS Health Checks

The Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Mike Robinson, this week added his backing to the call for local people to take up their invitation for a free NHS Health Check.

An evaluation of the health Check showed that an estimated 2,500 cases of heart attack or stroke were prevented over the first 5 years through treatments following the check, as well as helping to diagnose commonly linked conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease.

The study, published in BMJ Open, also found that those from the most deprived areas and black and minority ethnic groups, who are at greatest risk of cardiovascular disease, are more likely to attend an NHS Health Check. The authors say that this makes a positive step towards tackling health inequalities in England.

Study lead Dr John Robson from QMUL’s Blizard Institute said: “The NHS Health Check programme is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and our study demonstrates a modest but successful start. We estimate that the programme could help identify 44,000 new cases of hypertension, 10,000 new cases of diabetes and 4,500 new cases of kidney disease in England every year.

Currently, everyone aged 40 – 74 is invited every five years for a health check to test their blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol. Measurements for height and weight are also taken and advice on diet, fitness and lifestyle is offered.

Cllr Robinson, who joined in with council staff to get his blood pressure checked by Scott Baldwin from Solihull Health Exchange, said:

“Getting an NHS Health Check is not only a good opportunity to talk through any health concerns you might have, but can also help catch conditions early before they become a major problem in the long term.”

NHS Health Checks are not offered to those who have previously been diagnosed with a heart condition or who are being treated for certain risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

When people attend for their health check, the questions asked and the tests carried out can help calculate the chance of developing heart disease or stroke in the next ten years. Similar lifestyle factors can also play a part in increasing chances of dementia, and all of this can be discussed with the doctor.

Once the risk assessment is complete, anyone who has had a health check is given feedback on their results and advice on achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When the invitation comes from your doctor, make sure you take it up, it could be a lifesaver.


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