Free health check up ignored by more than half of the population

first_imgDoctor measuring blood pressure with sphygmomanometer. Image Credit: Kurhan / Shutterstock The free health tests included screening for dementia, heart diseases, kidney ailments and type 2 diabetes. The NHS said that over 15 million people were eligible to take the tests while only a minority took them. Since 2013, only 7.15 million individuals have taken these tests.  Experts have added that the tests would be just 20 minutes long but help detect many conditions and save lives. A GP or a nurse would check the body weight and height and measure the blood pressure as part of the test. Irregular heartbeats, risks for strokes can all be identified with the test. Strokes and risks of vascular dementias could also be assessed say experts.They explain that dementia and Alzheimer’s kills thousands each year in England and Wales. These tests could help diagnose the conditions early. Alistair Burns, national clinical director for dementia at NHS England says, “The start of a new year is exactly the right time to commit to taking a simple, free and potentially life-saving step towards a healthier life.”Related StoriesHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionArtificial intelligence can help accurately predict acute kidney injury in burn patientsThese health check-ups are offered to all individuals aged between 40 and 74 with no pre-existing health conditions. They are provided every five years. Laura Phipps, head of communications at Alzheimer’s Research UK says, “There is good evidence to suggest that what’s good for the heart is also good for the brain, but while 77% people believe they can reduce their risk of heart disease, only 34% of people know they can reduce their risk of dementia… Research shows that midlife is a crucial time to take action that will help maintain a healthy brain into later life. With dementia now the UK’s leading cause of death, we must encourage everyone to take positive steps to maintain good brain health throughout life and into older age.”These five yearly checks are part of the NHS’ effort to diagnose dementia early among the population of England. The organization is trying to ensure that least two thirds of the people with dementia are diagnosed and treated early.The programme at the Public Health England is led by Jamie Waterall who said, “The NHS health check looks at the top causes of premature death and ill health but more importantly supports people to take action of reducing their risk of preventable conditions such as dementia and heart disease.”The test is followed by advice on improving health and lifestyle that includes having a healthy balanced diet, regular exercise, quitting smoking, taking medications to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, losing excess body weight etc. By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJan 1 2019The NHS England provided a free health check up to the population over forty years of age and has noted that more than half of them did not take the health check-ups that could detect and treat dementias and other conditions.last_img

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