What is an NHS Health Check?
The NHS Health Check is your chance to get your free midlife MOT. For adults in England aged 40-74 without a pre-existing condition, it checks your circulatory and vascular health and what your risk of getting a disabling vascular disease is. This guide explains what happens at the check, when and how you get one, and how to lower your risk.
How do I get an NHS Health Check?
If you’re in the 40-74 age group without a pre-existing condition, you can expect to receive a letter from your GP or local authority inviting you for a free NHS Health Check.
Don’t worry if you haven’t got your invitation yet, as you will be invited for one over the next few years. In the meantime, there are other ways of getting your health checked.
Why should I get checked?
As we get older, we have a higher risk of developing something dangerous like high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes. Your NHS Health Check can spot early signs and help prevent these happening to you, which means you’ll be more likely to enjoy life for longer. Start by taking the online heart age test to see how healthy your heart is.
What happens at an NHS Health Check?
The purpose of the health check is to assess your risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, kidney disease, stroke and certain types of dementia. It will take about 20 to 30 minutes. During the check we will:
- Ask you some simple questions, for example about your family history and any medication you are currently taking
- Record your height, weight, age, sex and ethnicity
- Take your blood pressure
- Do a simple blood test to check your cholesterol and sugar levels – in most cases results are available in just 5 minutes
- Calculate your risk of developing cardiovascular disease
- Give you some personalised lifestyle advice to help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
- Send your results to your GP if you are seen by the Outreach Team or a Pharmacist