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Spotting heart problems early could prevent dementia in tens of thousands

The national health check – a 20-minute, pain-free assessment carried out by a GP or nurse and involving tests on blood pressure, weight and height – is free to everyone aged 40 years old and above.

Symptoms like high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat increase the risk of having a stroke or suffering a heart attack and can be spotted as part of the routine health check.

The national health check programme also picks up conditions such as kidney disease and type 2 diabetes and, since June, has included advice about preventing dementia.

However, recent figures show that of the 15 million people eligible for a free NHS health check over the last five years, fewer than 50% took one.

For every 2% reduction in the number of people experiencing stroke or other heart problems there are around 10,000 fewer dementia cases later in life.

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By Perry Sundberg on 24th January, 2019
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