What is an NHS Health Check?
The NHS Health Check is a sophisticated check of your heart health. Aimed at adults in England aged 40 to 74, it checks your vascular or circulatory health and works out your risk of developing some of the most disabling – but preventable – illnesses.
Think of your NHS Health Check as being your "midlife MOT". It checks that some of your body's most important systems are all running smoothly. Among other things, your blood pressure, cholesterol, and BMI will all be checked and your results given to you.
Crucially, your NHS Health Check can detect potential problems before they do real damage. Everyone is at risk of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and some forms of dementia. The good news is that these conditions can often be prevented.
Your NHS Health Check will assess your risk of developing these health problems and give you personalised advice on how to reduce it.
It's free of charge, including any follow-up tests or appointments.
Why the NHS Health Check is important
Thousands of people have already had an NHS Health Check. They are now armed with information and support to reduce their risk of developing heart and vascular problems. Why not join them?
Together, the vascular conditions identified by the NHS Health Check are the biggest cause of preventable deaths in the UK, affecting more than 4 million people.
Every year, the NHS Health Check is expected to help:
- save 650 lives
- prevent 1,600 heart attacks and strokes
- prevent 4,000 people from developing type 2 diabetes
- detect at least 20,000 cases of type 2 diabetes or kidney disease earlier
If you want to avoid being a statistic, it's worth making an appointment for an NHS Health Check as soon as you get your invitation.
Find out more about why you should have an NHS Health Check.
How to get an NHS Health Check
You'll be invited for an NHS Health Check every five years if you are between 40 and 74 years old, as long as you don't have an existing vascular condition. Your GP surgery will invite you over the next few years.
How the NHS Health Check will help
Once you've had your NHS Health Check, you'll have a good idea of what your risk is of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and certain types of dementia. There are some risk factors for these diseases that can't be changed; for example, your risk increases with age. But there's a lot you can do to reduce your risk. You can:
Your NHS Health Check will give you information and support to help you reach your health goals and enjoy a better quality of life. By acting to reduce your risk, you'll have more chance of dodging the debilitating and potentially disabling effects of illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and stroke.
For more details, read FAQs about the NHS Health Check.