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The number of people having their NHS Health Check is on the rise in Cambridgeshire with 3,000 more people signing up for the free service last year.

 Between April 2016 and March 2017, 18,000 health checks were delivered across the county - 3,000 more than the previous year.

Latest figures from Public Health England show 7.8 per cent of people in Fenland have diabetes, compared to the national average of 6.4 per cent, and 5.5 per cent in Cambridgeshire. In addition there is an estimated nearly 11 per cent of the population who have prediabetes, where blood sugar levels are higher than normal and there is high risk that they will progress to developing diabetes.

Having an NHS Health Check, will give people the opportunity to take steps earlier such as weight control and exercise, to prevent or even reverse type 2 diabetes in its early stages. This Diabetes Week, health experts are encouraging people to book in for a free NHS Health Check at their local GP surgery and help detect potential problems before they do real damage.

Not only do NHS Health Checks tell you whether you're at higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes or if you already have the condition, it can also spot early signs of heart disease and stroke.

If you’re aged between 40-74 and do not currently have a long-term health condition you should have an NHS Health Check every five years. It’s a short 20-30 minute check on blood pressure, weight, cholesterol and the lifestyle factors that influence your health. Those over 65 will also be told the signs and symptoms of dementia to look out for.

Debbie Beales, Clinical Lead for Cambridgeshire NHS Health Checks, said: “Having a NHS Health Check can detect potential problems before they do real damage – and it’s completely free! Trained staff will provide advice and information on having a healthier lifestyle such as eating healthier, being more active, drinking less or stopping smoking. Take action now and enjoy a healthier life for longer.”

Val Thomas, Consultant in Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “It’s really encouraging to see so many people taking action to reduce their risk of developing diabetes and other avoidable diseases. This is a great free service that can make a real difference to local people. However, we need more people to sign up and take action to reduce their risk of developing potentially avoidable diseases. Diabetes Week is a great time to give ourselves a push to improve our health.”

If you’re aged 40-74 years, call or visit your GP now to get your Free NHS Health Check. For more information about Heath Checks, visit https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/be-well/health-improvement/ or the NHS pages.

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