NHS Health Check programme prevents 2,500 heart attacks and strokes

14 January 2016        

Man having his blood pressure taken

An evaluation of the free service by Public Health England has shown its crucial role in helping to prevent cardiovascular disease.

The study, led by Queen Mary University of London found that the programme is effectively identifying people at risk of major cardiovascular incidents. Researchers estimate the checks have helped prevent 2,500 cases of heart attack and stroke in the past five years.

People from the most deprived areas and black and minority ethnic groups, who are at greatest risk of cardiovascular disease, were also shown to be more likely to attend an NHS Health Check.

Ceri Jones, Head of Prevention and Behaviour Change, said: “These results are a real success story and show the life saving impact that health checks are having in helping people cut their risk of a heart attack or stroke.”    

“The study also highlights a major step towards tackling health inequalities in England, with those who are at greatest risk of heart disease, more likely to attend an NHS Health Check.

“However uptake is too low. We would urge everyone over the age of 40 to take up the offer of a free health check. Identifying and managing a condition like high blood pressure now could significantly lower your risk of a serious heart attack or stroke in future.”

As many as 7 million people in the UK are living with high blood pressure, putting them at risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. We're funding research to help us understand more about the causes of high blood pressure.

Visit the NHS Health Check website to find out more information about the programme.