Why I’m a fan of the @NHSChoices #Healthcheck

If you were watching my “Health Round Up” on This Morning on ITV today you may have been shocked by the statistic from the British Heart Foundation that 200 people under 65 die in the UK every week from a heart attack. They never get to enjoy their retirement. In fact a heart attack strikes someone here in Britain every three minutes. Scary isn’t it?
We know that high cholesterol levels are implicated in over half of all heart attacks and the thing about cholesterol is that for the vast majority of us there will be no outward signs. You simply don’t know your cholesterol level unless you get it checked and it is thought that over half of British adults have cholesterol levels higher than the recommended limit of 5mmol/litre.
The NHS HealthCheck is available to everyone between the ages of 40 and 74 who is registered with an NHS GP and isn’t already being monitored for a long term health condition. It will involve testing your cholesterol level and measuring your blood pressure among other things. And it doesn’t necessarily mean waiting for an appointment at your surgery – some pharmacies will do your health check for you too. When you have had yours done why not log onto the NHS heart age tool at https://www.nhs.uk/tools/pages/heartage.aspx and plug in your details? This will tell you how old your heart is compared to you and may come as a bit of a shock. Then re-enter your details having perhaps cut down on the cigarettes or lost some weight and see for yourself what lifestyle changes really mean in terms of the age of your heart.