What is the NHS Healthy Heart Check
The NHS Health Check aims to help you lower your risk of four common but often preventable diseases: heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease. It's for adults aged between 40 and 74 who have not already been diagnosed with any one of those four conditions.If you are eligible for NHS Health Check, you'll be invited for a check once every five years. At the check your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes will be assessed, and you'll be offered personalised advice and support to help you lower that risk.
The introduction of NHS Health Check across England started in 2009. Full implementation of the programme will take some time and is not expected until 2012/13. That means that some people may not receive their invitation to the check until after this time.
There are two parts to NHS Health Check. First, you will be asked a few simple questions and have a few straightforward health tests. These will allow an assessment of your risk of developing four diseases: heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and kidney disease.
The check will take around 20-30 minutes:
- You'll be asked some simple questions about your family history, and any medication you're taking.
- Your height, weight, sex, ethnicity and age will be recorded.
- Your blood pressure will be taken.
- A simple blood test will check your cholesterol level.
- Your body mass index (BMI) will be calculated. BMI is a measure of whether you're a healthy weight for your height.
After this, a trained professional (which could be your practice nurse) will give you your results, and explain what they mean. In some instances tests may have to be sent away for analysis, meaning some people will not get their test results immediately and may be asked to return at a later date for this discussion.
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