If you've already had an NHS Health Check, were you surprised by your test results?

What about the advice you were given afterwards?

You will have been given your BMI, your blood pressure score and your cholesterol score as a minimum. Find out more about what your results mean in the NHS Health Check guide:


16 Replies

  • Thank you for the link it was very interesting. My results were a bit of a shock for me as my cholesterol was 4.7, my BP was normal and my BMI was 22. All of this was a shock because I have brittle asthma, COPD and very bad arthritis! I have a family history of diabetes but mine was all clear!

    It just goes to prove that seeing healthy and being healthy are two totally separate things? So despite the fact I use a tri-walker I am not doing too badly?



    PS. Just remembered I was strongly advised to register my peak flow daily and visit the GP for steroids if it dropped below 300 - 350.

  • The NHS Health Check is only designed for patients not on a disease register. You may have had a Well Person Check.

  • No, it was the Health Check, I volunteered all the information when I got there! My GP told me that I should have mentioned it all years ago! I just never thought about? I think this is what we do sometimes and it is not in our own best interests?

    Take care


  • I was surprised at how simply the results were presented. The health practioner could not explain what was meant by the risk levels and how lifestyle changes would impact on them. It was all very basic and did not need the cost of a health check to tell me it is healthier to move more, drink less, stop smoking, and stay a healthy weight. Why even measure BMI as it is known not to show whether the patient is a healthy weight. It was a waste of everyone's time and money. Why does not other country, even Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland, let alone any other country offer these checks? The screening data is poor.

  • Hello,

    Humans in the age group, 40-74, not all of us are very well informed.It all depends on the training given to the person who is doing all the checks to offer explanation!, we can use the Internet to get better understanding of all the health check numbers.

    Thirty minutes of ones time spent in having a health check to give some indication of ones health good or bad or indication of further check is very well spent time.

    I am happy I had an opportunity to go for NHS health check and also private screening checks, here money well spent.

    One life, healthy life, make use of free checks to enjoy life to the full!

  • Hi bala, that's great! I use the internet a lot for looking up health issues, but I always come to the reputable sites like NHS Choices.

    Take care


  • I recently had an NHS healthcheck. I am 64, take regular varied exercise including activities that get my heart pumping well. I never eat ready prepared foods, eat loads of veg, fruit and lean protein and keep off the bad carbs. I am 5ft.7in (prob even an inch taller but hate to admit it). My weight was checked on very old fashioned scales and included all my clothes so added a fair bit and she just took my word for my height. My BMI came out OK but when I checked what she had written down for my waist measurement that was incorrect too! Overall I was rated OK, BMI, BP, exer/alcohol & blood tests good.

    However, my Cholestrol had increased from 4.6 (in 2003) to 5.1 in 11 years. The nurse never gave any explanation as to why this could happen and never discussed 'good and bad' figures. I have since been told that it is common for post menopausal women to have slightly higher readings?!? Because my father died aged 69 from a heart attack 31 yrs ago I am classified as 'at risk'. Also I find it crazy that on the form a woman should "not have a waist measurement of over 31 inches"! Mine was almost 32"! Shock horror. I am tall and weigh 151lbs and not overweight. How can you equate ALL women from approx 5ft and much taller like me to having a waist measurement like that? It's crazy. My waist is smaller than hips and bust, so in proportion and no dangerous 'belly' fat!

    My father may well have died from CVD but he was 69, it was 31 yrs ago and he smoked his own 'roll ups' from aged 11 till 5 years before he died. He internalised stress and worked long hours. He came from an era when stodgy suet puddings, red meat, high fat and no exercise etc were all quite normal. Does this mean I am predicted at having 11% risk of this too?

    I am lucky that I am a confident person as any other nervy person may have been worried sick. The nurse told me I needed to be referred to see the Doctor and just said "oh they'll probably put you straight on statins". I won't print my reply here to that statement!

    I saw the Doctor today who said she wouldn't take any note really of any of the main results but said that NICE had recently decreed that people below '20% risk' should probably be advised to take statins now as well as those above. She kindly explained the cholesterol levels and agreed mine were pretty good but I agreed with her to have them re checked in a year.

    I'm all for getting my health regularly checked, but it must be ensured that practitioners a) take the measurements etc correctly and b) there is no 'one plan' for all.

    I am always open to learning more to improve my health and general wel being, but this needs to be done accurately and with feeling!!

  • Regarding statins I'm with you Helspage. I had a health check early in 2013 because a follow up cholesterol test [3 yrs after the first which was 6.4] came back as 5.9. This was enough for the GP to 'invite' me for the health check where hypertension was discovered. I really felt cross that I was now on the register for all sorts of nannying from the NHS which I didn't want. However I was eventually convinced to take meds for it. It did scare the s**t out of me and turn me from a laid back sort of person into a frankly neurotic one. Is that the point of it I wonder - if so it worked.

    Despite my misgivings I altered my lifestyle which wasn't bad before but is definitely better now. Even so at my last GP appt I was offered a statin because my Qrisk is 14%. Of course it is: you fill in boxes with your numbers [and mine are well within limits now] yet because you are on meds for the hypertension that counts against you not to mention one's age, I am now 72.

    The GP was slightly embarrassed at offering me the statin, which I refused, but said they have to do this to anyone with a 'risk' of over 10%. I asked her if she would take one with my risk and she said NO !! Say no more!

  • Hi Helspage,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. You are absolutely right, one size does not fit all. This page in the NHS Health Check digital guide, 'Improve your NHS Health Check numbers' looks at all the different ways people can make changes:


    Kind regards.


  • At the end of the day people in NHS are doing a job, not every one has the necessary skills to explain numbers. GPs also have problems to explain the numbers. I found if I have a list of written down questions and writing the answers they provide they are very careful with the answers. Why offer free NHS free health and the staff are unable offer answers to the numbers. You need to look at the height to waist ration, please Google to find more information.

    Life style change, regular exercise and food intake control can help!

  • I was simply told I was 'chubby' and had to lose weight. I was given a few numbers but nothing was explained. I remember seeing results as smiley face, plain face, and sad face. To be honest as soon as I was told I was chubby I kind of ignored everything else that was being said.

  • HI,

    In my case, I was told by GP practice that I can confirm from your blood test results you are diabetic and you need to take medication.!

    My response was I am not taking any medication. Went home did Google and after three years my life style and food control is helping me, so far no medication . Only time will tell!!

    NHS practice staff needs training after all they are human with not enough training, in 21st century time has come for them to understand what is required and help people.

  • Hi Bala, only just seen this post.

    I quite agree with what you say about the health care assistants needing more training. They are reading from a script and 'one size fits all' approach - except that it doesn't. It is worth remembering that most of them are only 'assistants' they are not nurses. I was talking recently to a practice nurse who lives nearby and she was saying that in her opinion the drs were far too quick to medicate them. On the other hand she also said that they pick up about 8 cases of T2 diabetes each week in people who had no idea that they had a problem. Some of them of course were prediabetic and it was an opportunity to reduce that risk for them.

  • I haven't had an NHS Health Check or Well Woman check within the NHS and haven't been invited for one - no idea why. But I do know that whenever I have tests done through the GP be it blood tests, scans or x-rays I have never been shown the results let alone given a copy of the figures. All I am told is that everything was fine, or normal, whatever those mean - I take them to mean that the GP is not worried about anything as a result of the rests but that does not take account of whether I am concerned!

    As a result of recurring infections during the last 9 months undermining my previously improving weight, activity levels, emotional mood, and overall health, and no explanation or suggestion from the GPs as to why my health might have altered so suddenly, I have just had private bloods done and am waiting for the results. If any of the results concern me then I will investigate them further via reading on reputable websites and discussing on health user support sites such as this one, and once I have sufficient understanding of what might be wrong then I will go back to my GP and argue my case for the relevant treatment.

    I am not particularly angry with my GPs who are fairly thorough and supportive, but I do feel that pressures of work and economic restraint means they do not look for explanations unless there is a risk of serious health problems when the NHS is marvellous (my husband has end stage 5 renal failure and his care can't be faulted). My health problems may not be serious enough to warrant a GPs time and effort, but to me they are frustrating, exhausting and worrying as they are undermining my capacity to achieve my health goals of losing weight, walking regularly with local walking groups and the Ramblers, following my hobbies and going out socially. I would have thought those goals were or serious concern for the health service because if I am helped to achieve them I am very much less likely to be a patient who costs the NHS money through repeated GP appointments. I suppose I am saying that preventative care is the key to reducing NHS costs in the middle/long term.

  • Myself and my husband had ours today!

    We were both given a clean bill of health.

    My heart attack risk was 0.99% the lowest score our surgery had ever seen!

    My husbands was 1.45%

    I am 43 obese but my blood sugar was 4.0, cholesterol 4.5 (1.81 good cholesterol), resting heart rate 73, Blood Pressure was 120/70

    I have been losing weight for 3 months so the health check nurse told me to carry on with what I am already doing.

    I was really amazed by my results and I was really worried before I went, but I now feel that I am doing the right things in life and I will continue on my low calorie healthy diet.

    Thank you NHS

  • I was surprised the NHS has not switched on to the harm reduction offered through vaping. In the last couple of years the cost of NHS Stop Smoking Services has doubled per quitter because so many people are now able to quit with vaping aids. In fact there is a whole social movement of supporters completing unfunded and voluntarily encouranging quitting. When will the NHS adapt? Why does it continue to waste money on the NHS Health Check when there is NO evidence it is cost effective. In fact, how many people are now overdiagnosed and treated as a result of unnecessary screening. The NHS either needs to provide a comprehensive personalised health check and advice or spend money better on treating people who are ill now and need help now.