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It's basically a free midlife MOT from NHS England. It can help you spot upcoming heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, stroke and other health problems.
If you're aged 40-74 and don't already have a diagnosis for one of these conditions, you should have an NHS health check.
It takes about 20 minutes. The health professional - usually a nurse - will ask you some simple questions, measure and weigh you, take your blood pressure and probably a small prick of blood from your finger. Based on this, they will be able to give you an idea of your risk of several serious diseases: heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and type 2 diabetes.
They'll then give you personalised advice to reduce your risk.
If you prefer you can ask specifically to see a man or a woman but it's not really necessary. The questions are very easy and not embarrassing and you won't have to take any clothing off.
GP practices should offer health checks. But there are also health checks carried out in other places in the community such as out-of-town stores, pubs, shopping centres, sports grounds etc. Keep an eye out.
The NHS thinks so. They estimate that every year, NHS Health Checks:
One of the lives saved could be yours.
The questions are: your age, your ethnic group, whether you smoke, how much alcohol you drink and how much exercise you do. They will also ask whether any close relatives have had any of the diseases being checked for and may ask other questions to see if you have any symptoms of these diseases.
The tests are:
The results of the tests and questions are combined to give you an estimate of your risk of the various diseases.
You may need other tests afterwards - for example to measure your blood sugar level if the healthcare professional thinks that you may have diabetes.
All very easy really.
You should get an invitation from your GP if you're in the eligible group. If you haven't yet been invited you will be over the next few years. But why not just ask your GP now.
Read Kevin's story: 'Get a health check'
You can find information about most health conditions here on the Men's Health Forum's website or you can ask a GP a question using our Man MOT service. There's also a heart age test on the NHS Choices website. Follow this link if you need to find a GP?
Date of last review 30/04/15
Date of next review 30/04/18
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