February is all about matters of the heart with Valentine’s Day this month– but how healthy is your heart?

Coronary heart disease causes around 54,000 deaths each year in England, with around 500 in Cambridgeshire.

The free NHS Health Check, which is funded by Cambridgeshire County Council, will tell you how high your risk is of developing serious but potentially preventable conditions like heart disease along with strokes, Type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and dementia.

Figures show a promising rise in the numbers of people taking up the offer of their free NHS Health Check with 18,000 delivered across Cambridgeshire between April 2016 and March 2017- 3,000 more than the previous year.

It is an important step for many people towards improving their health and becoming more aware of what they can do to lead a healthier life for longer – for example, eating more healthy food and being physically active.

If you are aged between 40 and 74 years of age, you will be invited for a free NHS Health Check once every five years, apart from those already seeing their GP for a serious health condition.

Val Thomas, Consultant in Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “It is easy to rest on your laurels when you're feeling well and not displaying any symptoms of illness, but NHS Health Checks is a great free service that can make a real difference to people’s health. However, we still need more people to sign up and take action to reduce their risk of developing potentially avoidable diseases such as heart disease. This month is a great time to take control of your health – and heart health.”

She added: “If you receive one of these invitations from your GP for an NHS Health Check do attend and make sure you know of any potential problems and what you can do to avoid them before they do any real damage.”  

The Check will also give you and your doctor a better understanding of the true age of your heart with a lifetime risk calculator. The calculator works out your lifetime risk of heart and other problems along with your heart age using information such as your family history of heart disease and your lifestyle choices.

While there some things about your risk that cannot be changed such as age, ethnicity or family history, other risk factors including Body Mass Index (BMI), cholesterol level and blood pressure can be changed.

If you want to find out more about making these lifestyle changes or about NHS Health Checks, but you are unable to take up your GP’s invitation there are other ways you could have a Health Check. The countywide lifestyle service, Everyone Health offers advice and offers them in certain areas.

You can find out more by calling O333 005 0093 or go to [email protected]. If you are an employer, NHS Health Check clinics can also be run onsite within your workplace free of charge. If you are interested in running sessions for your staff contact Everyone Health.

Next month Everyone Health will be providing NHS Health Checks in some libraries across the county. To find out more and whether you can book an appointment contact Everyone Health on the number above.

  • 7th March – March Library
  • 8th March – St.Neots Library
  • 12th March – Huntingdon Library
  • 13th March – Chatteris Library, Whittlesey Library and St.Ives Library
  • 14th March – Yaxley Library
  • 15th March – Willingham Library
  • 16th March – Ely Library and Littleport Library 

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