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Free health tests for over 40’s

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It has been revealed by the Department of Health people aged between 40 and 72 will be offered a regular free health MOT check arranged by local authorities.

There will be obligations to invite people for the specific age group to have a check up every five years to find out if they are at risk of becoming ill.

GP’s and nurses will carry out the check-ups that will test a patient’s blood pressure, cholesterol level, weight and height.

A number of questions will also be asked about the patient’s lifestyle and diet which will also be taken into account.

With the test and questions medical experts will be able to tell if someone is at risk of a heart attack, stroke, kidney disease or diabetes.

At the moment checks can be made but are only offered by the Primary Care Trust although some do not provide them to all.

The proposal will see by April 213 local authorities being given the responsibility for ensuring over 40’s are offered checks.

Once the check up is completed depending on the outcome of the results people will be given advice and useful information on how to improve their lifestyle.

A spokesman for the British Heart Foundation told The Daily Mail they were pleased with the planned proposal saying: “We would welcome better support for these health checks to be provided and anything that increases this roll-out is a very positive thing.

“They are a good way of setting out a person’s risk of certain illnesses while they have still got the chance to do something about it.

“We would ask anyone who is eligible to contact their local GP to ask to have a health check.”

A report from the charity Heart UK found that only 43,000 people had checks when 16 million were eligible last year, it was also found that 9 trusts didn’t carry out a single health MOT.

It has been estimated if half of the 16 million people were made aware of possible health risks they may have, there would be a significant decrease in the amount of people falling ill and save the NHS millions of pounds.

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By Amanda Bainbridge