NHS Health Checks

Why do I need an NHS Health Check?

We know that your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and dementia increases  with age. There are also certain things that will put you at even greater risk. These are:

  • being overweight
  • being physically inactive
  • not eating healthily
  • smoking
  • drinking too much alcohol
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol.

Both men and women can develop these conditions, and having one could increase your risk of developing another in the future.

  • In the brain a blocked artery or a bleed can cause a stroke.
  • In the heart a blocked artery can cause a heart attack or angina.
  • The kidneys can be damaged by high blood pressure or diabetes, causing chronic kidney disease and increasing
    your risk of having a heart attack.
  • Being overweight and physically inactive can lead to type 2 diabetes.
  • If unrecognised or unmanaged, type 2 diabetes could increase your risk of further health problems, including heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

The good news is that these conditions can often be prevented – even if you have a history of them in your family. Have your free NHS Health Check and you will be better prepared for the future and be able to take steps to maintain or improve your health.

What happens at the check?

This check is to assess your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and stroke.

The check will take about 20–30 minutes. You’ll be asked some simple questions, for example, about your family history and choices which may put your health at risk.

We’ll record your height, weight, age, sex and ethnicity and check your blood pressure and cholesterol.

What happens after the check?

We will discuss how you can reduce your risk and stay healthy. You’ll be taken through your results and told what they mean. Some people may be asked to return at a later date for their results.

You’ll be given personalised advice on how to lower your risk and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Some people with raised blood pressure will have their kidneys checked through a blood test. Some people may need to have another blood test to check for type 2 diabetes. Your health professional will be able to tell you more.

You may be prescribed treatment or medication to help you maintain your health.

Will everyone have this check?

This check is part of a national scheme to help prevent the onset of these health problems. Everyone between the ages of 40 and 74 who has not been diagnosed with the conditions mentioned will be invited for a check once every five years. If you are outside the age range and concerned about your health, you should contact your GP practice.