Look after your heart this Valentine's Day!

  |  Published: Feb 12th 2015

Just in time for Valentine's Day, Buckinghamshire County Council is launching Change your life in 20 minutes, a new campaign to tell people aged between 40 and 74 about the benefits of a free NHS Health Check, which includes a check on whether you're likely to get heart disease.

Once you reach 40, you become more at risk from certain health problems, and even if you feel fighting fit, it's a good idea to find out if you have a higher risk of certain conditions in the future. The NHS Health Check takes just 20 minutes, and lets you find out what health risks you face and how to prevent them.

The new campaign, supported by local advertising, is aimed at everyone aged between 40 and 74 not already being treated for heart disease, stroke, diabetes or a related condition, but is especially focused on men and the South Asian community, groups that have a lower take-up response when their GP invites them for their health check.

The usual way to get the free NHS Health Check is to look out for an invite from your GP – each practice aims to invite every eligible patient once every five years.

The health check consists of a few questions and simple tests, giving people a clear picture of their risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease or diabetes. Together, these conditions have been identified as the biggest cause of preventable deaths in the UK, affecting more than 4 million people.

In addition to the new campaign, Buckinghamshire County Council's Public health team is continuing its outreach programme to get free NHS Health Checks out into the community through venues such as libraries, supermarkets, shopping centres and places of worship. This is now being expanded with a new initiative to work with Buckinghamshire's business community to offer health checks in the workplace.

Carl Etholen, Deputy Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing at Buckinghamshire County Council said: "I welcome the Public Health team's new campaign to promote the NHS Health Check, which is an excellent example of the Council's preventive work in health and wellbeing. Most importantly, the person taking the health check gets a heads-up on their health risks and some good advice on how to go about avoiding future health problems."

For more details of the Bucks Health Checks campaign go to: www.buckscc.gov.uk/healthy-living/nhs-health-check/

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