NHS Health checks? 'helping you prevents heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease'. comments?

NHS HEALTH CHECKS

Every person in England between 40 and 75 is going to be offered an NHS Health Check, 'helping you prevents heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease'. Essentially it involves checking your weight, height, blood pressure and cholesterol -with a diabetes and kidney blood test for people with high blood pressure.

The idea is to catch high-risk people early and get them to make changes to their lifestyle which can reduce the risk of future disease.

Weight,

Height,

Blood pressure,

Cholesterol,

Diabetes,

Kidney blood test for people with high blood pressure. What is this test?

In my case blood test showed high cholesterol and high blood glucose, life style change reduced it.

Blood pressure, how accurate is the test devices? And how often are the test devices calibrated? Blue Crest blood pressure test showed that I am moving towards high blood pressure but all others are normal.

17 Replies

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  • I had one last February after a borderline high cholesterol test [that had nothing to do with the NHS health check]. Everything was fine except the blood pressure which was 163/90. They gave me a 24hr monitor which confirmed the worst. I've no family with this or other heart related problems and am 70 years old so they said it's my age. I asked for and was given a month to alter 'life style' but the dr said it wouldn't make any difference,there wasn't enough to alter and I'd definitely need medication. I took up walking and gave up salt and decided to lose weight although my BMI was 23.9, not too tragic, after 5 months it's now 20. Didn't make any difference and was put on 1.25 mg Ramipril back in early May. Dose raised in June to 2.50 mg and this seemed to work and brought the numbers down nicely, averaging 120/75 and in July was told to return for check in Sept.Have just had wonderful holiday in Provence and on my return the bp has risen to 140/85 so tomorrow when I see the dr no doubt I'll be given a cocktail of other things. I feel absolutely sickened and wish I'd never gone for the health check in the first place. Especially when I learnt that it's all part of a box ticking exercise.

    Then I met someone who was diagnosed with diabetes at the same time and thought what am I moaning about. Also I know a guy who 'didn't do doctors' and at 58 has had 2 heart attacks and has been told the left side of his heart is ruined: he was also told at the same time he had diabetes. He is very overweight and admits to eating junk food. Pity he didn't have a health check.

    Why would my BP have risen so much over such a short space of time? All I can think is that I returned home from holiday to cold weather and all summer whilst I've been monitoring myself the weather has been warm. Yes they are a good thing I suppose but I still wish I'd never gone!

  • Hello,

    Thanks, with any testing it is impersative, the test device is calibrated daily or reguarly and the individual who do testing has an understanding of the test results. When I did Google I found a chart similsar to Blue Crest gave me, so far my GP has not mentioned hogh blood pressure but Blue Crest has mentioned it. I am not acting on Blue Crest finding. In the gym whenI start my heart rate is 88 and goes up to 134 after 15 minutes on the bike and comes back to normal in five minutes. Have been told for my age (67) this is good. There is no need to take any action. Good luck with yuor medication.

  • Bala, did you manage to lower your blood glucose levels by lifestyle changes? I seem to remember reading some time ago that you were writing here about the HbA1c test that you had undergone. On my own quest to lose weight earlier this year I read Dr Michael Moseley's book 'The Fast Diet' where he talks about having high blood glucose and how he cured himself by intermittent fasting. The science behind his theory is fascinating and thoroughly sustainable, what's more it works.

  • As I have asthma, I attend the asthma clinic at my surgery and see the asthma nurse every six months. When I was in my forties she started to take my blood pressure at the same time. My blood pressure went from being borderline high at one visit to being extremely high, 223/116, at the next. I didn't leave until I had been seen by a doctor and given medication. Although this was only the start of my cardiovascular problems, I am so grateful for having had that check, as I had no symptoms and might not have been around long enough to write this now. Years later, further tests led to urgent treatment to prevent an imminent heart attack. We should be glad that we have these opportunities. While we may not exactly relish the outcome of facing our own mortality and perhaps requiring drugs to prolong our lives, if nothing else, the tests make us aware of what is happening in our bodies and allow us to make decisions about the way forward, whether that be medication, lifestyle changes or burying our heads in the sand.

  • Hello,

    As I am waiting for stress test, I am interested in finding out what tests were done here and treatement " Years later, further tests led to urgent treatment to prevent an imminent heart attack. "

    Thanks.

  • Hi Bala, I had an ECG, an echocardiogram, a stress test and an angiogram. These led to an urgent angioplasty the following week for a severely narrowed artery.. I was already on two drugs for high blood pressure - Lisinopril and Amlodipine. I was then put on Aspirin, Bisoprolol and Clopidogrel before the angioplasty. Following the angioplasty I have been trying to tolerate statins with little success. I am just about to visit my GP this morning as I am feeling unwell and think that the fifth statin is not agreeing with me. I hope your stress test goes well and does not indicate any major issues.

  • Hello,

    Thanks for your response. Please update on your doctor's visit and good luck. Stress test I am not sure I want to go for it! GP dis discuss angiogram, my response was one at a time. I wish there is some physial test that is available for us to do to check how good our heart is, like walking or in the gym anr any other exercise?

  • Hello again,

    The result of my visit to the GP was inconclusive. I have to give the Fluvastatin some more time, as it is not clear if my symptoms are side effects of the drug or caused by a virus. Hopefully it is a virus as this is my last chance at a statin. The stress test is an ECG which is carried out while you walk at increasing speed and incline on a treadmill so I guess that is the nearest to what you would like and is less invasive than an angiogram. At my local hospital I don't think angiograms are carried out routinely unless there is a negative result from the stress test or symptoms give clear cause for concern. Good luck and do post an update following the test.

  • I wonder if we in Wales will get this check too!

  • All,

    Thanks for your response. Going for health checks and understanding the results and learning from it to improve the health to avoid any medication is good. When I went for my health MOT to my GP clinic I was not impressed with the comments. That was 16 years ago. Three years ago all changed, food intake and life style. Blue crest found form the screening I need to have a 12 lead electro cardiogram to investigate BBB, cardiologist did an echo cardio gram and said all OK, but need a stress test. Awaiting appointment.

    I am glad I had the opportunity for health checks in GP practice, private screening, supermarket and at chemists.

  • Yes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. What you want to consider is that even if these measures were good indicators of health, abnormalities would indicate that something has already gone wrong.

    Then, look at the strategies for rectifying problems. If you have high cholesterol, you are advised a low fat diet to lower it. If this has little effect, you are told that only 15% of cholesterol is affected by diet, the rest is heredity, etc. You aren't told that saturated fat raises ldl and hdl, and that the ldl raised are large fluffy particles, not the small dense ones associated with heart disease. Neither are you told that carbohydrates cause the small dense ldl, and controlling carbs controls another risk factor for heart disease; triglyceride levels.

  • Hello,

    Thank you. I agree information on cholesterol and food intake are not freely available. Given up on NHS food plate, eggs for breakfast and fresh salad for lunch, dinner home cooked, unable to change it after 40 years!!!, it has been good for 40 years, another 20 years better be good.

  • I had a health check with the nurse.I had to ask them for the test when i thought they were supposed to contact me at 50.What a joke the tests were.To say they were basic would be being polite.Luckily i take responsibility for my my own wellbeing,by sourcing natural health products based on my own research and scientific validation.Rather than drugs that only have validation from scientists who have there research funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

    Lifestyle is definitely key to long and happy life.When you put health in the private sector it all becomes about making money for shareholders at the expense of patient care.

  • Like you I like to take control of my own life and health and having had one of these checks and found to have hypertension it was always my aim to sort it with life style changes. I did resent the feeling I was part of the box ticking culture and that the surgery makes money from these tests. However although I say I wish I'd never gone that isn't really true; the thought of having a debilitating stroke/heart attack or developing Dementia when such things could have been prevented had I taken care is frightening. My doctor tells me that my blood pressure could not have been prevented as life style was/is fine; it would have caught up with me eventually and although I dispute the fact she says it's in my genes somewhere.

  • Are you on BP lowering medication now?

  • Yes, after being given a month to reduce it by lifestyle means - no salt, walking lots, cutting down on wine and starting to lose weight I really had no alternative but to reluctantly take an Ace inhibitor [Ramipril 1.25mg]. I asked not to be put on a calcium channel blocker as I do like my grapefruit for breakfast. Dose was raised to 2.50mg after a month which seemed to do the trick but after 3 months the cough was intolerable. Yesterday the dr changed me onto Losarstan 50mg so I'm hoping the cough will disappear in time..It seems like I'm on it for life which I hate the idea of, but that is better than risking a stroke, dementia or heart attack. So although I felt angry initially at the health check, really I am grateful. And weight wise my bmi dropped from 23.9 to 20 and I've never felt better:))

  • Losartan is an ACE blocker not an ACE inhibitor so you shouldn't get the cough that you had with the Ramipril. Hope all goes well with it.

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