NHS 'health checks' linked to decreased risk factors for cardiovascular disease

Attending a health check as part of the England National Health Services “Health Check” programme is associated with increased risk management interventions and decreased risk factors for cardiovascular disease in the six years following the check, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Samah Alageel of King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, and colleagues from King’s College London, UK.

Credit: rawpixel, Pixabay

In 2009, the NHS introduced the Health Check program, designed to provide checkups to adults in England aged 40–74 and spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia. One review, however, found that the program did not decrease morbidity or mortality among participants. In the new study, researchers studied data from 127,891 participants who completed the health check between 2010 and 2016, as well as data from 322,910 matched controls over six years’ follow-up.

The authors found that health check participants had slightly lower baseline body mass index (BMI), blood pressure (SBP) and fewer were smokers (21% in health check participants vs. 27% in controls). Health check participants were five times more likely to receive weight management advice, three times more likely to receive smoking cessation advice, and their use of statins was 24% higher.

Six years after taking part in health checks, people who had a health check had net reductions in body mass index, systolic blood pressure, and smoking status. The authors acknowledge that lack of randomization as well as missing data in electronic medical records could have introduced bias into the results.

These results show that the NHS Health Check program carries a potential for reducing cardiovascular risk through the early assessment and management of risk factors. However, the program could benefit from and should be supported with population-wide interventions to improve its outcomes."

Lead author Samah Alageel, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia

People who take up a health check may be healthier than controls but are more likely to receive risk factor interventions. Reductions in risk up to six years following a health check may be of public health importance but we need to be sure these benefits are shared by those most at risk.”

Professor Martin Gulliford, School of Population Health and Environmental Sciences, King’s College London

“While net changes in risk factor values were generally of small magnitude these were sustained for up to six years following the health check and the cumulative impact of these changes could be of public health importance across the population at risk,” the authors say.

Journal reference:

Alageel, S & Gulliford, M.C. (2019) Health checks and cardiovascular risk factor values over six years’ follow-up: Matched cohort study using electronic health records in England. PLOS Medicine. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002863.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    PLOS ONE. (2019, July 31). NHS 'health checks' linked to decreased risk factors for cardiovascular disease. News-Medical. Retrieved on April 16, 2024 from https://www.news-medical.net/news/20190731/NHS-health-checks-linked-to-decreased-risk-factors-for-cardiovascular-disease.aspx.

  • MLA

    PLOS ONE. "NHS 'health checks' linked to decreased risk factors for cardiovascular disease". News-Medical. 16 April 2024. <https://www.news-medical.net/news/20190731/NHS-health-checks-linked-to-decreased-risk-factors-for-cardiovascular-disease.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    PLOS ONE. "NHS 'health checks' linked to decreased risk factors for cardiovascular disease". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20190731/NHS-health-checks-linked-to-decreased-risk-factors-for-cardiovascular-disease.aspx. (accessed April 16, 2024).

  • Harvard

    PLOS ONE. 2019. NHS 'health checks' linked to decreased risk factors for cardiovascular disease. News-Medical, viewed 16 April 2024, https://www.news-medical.net/news/20190731/NHS-health-checks-linked-to-decreased-risk-factors-for-cardiovascular-disease.aspx.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
High cardiometabolic disease costs in the U.S. could be linked to suboptimal diet