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Health Screening

Health Screening, and Diagnostic Tests

The primary purpose of a health or screening tests is to detect early disease or risk factors for disease in large numbers of healthy individuals.

The purpose of a diagnostic test is to establish the presence (or absence) of disease as a basis for treatment decisions if there are positive findings or things you can do to prevent any borderline results getting worse.

What are health checks?

‘NHS health checks’ is something your GP should offer as a free check-up of your health. Getting a check-up can detect or help identify whether you’re at risk of things like:

  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • stroke
  • dementia

You’ll also be given advice on how to prevent these conditions through lifestyle changes.

Who is eligible for an NHS health check?

Ever wondered what the over 40 health check is? This is the same thing as an NHS health check. If you’re between the ages of 40 and 74 you’ll be invited for a free check-up every five years. People under the age of 40 are not eligible for health checks due to younger people having less risk of health complications and conditions. If you have any questions, you should contact your GP.

Can you get a full check up at the doctors?

Yes — you can receive health checks your GP surgery, local pharmacy, or even your local library or leisure centre. Find NHS health check locations in your area.

How often should you see your doctor?

This largely depends on your health and age and varies from person to person.

The average patient aged over 30 contacts their doctor’s surgery 2-3 times per year, but some may do so more frequently, and many do not contact their GP at all or when they do, they may struggle to get an appointment.

Conditions like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension might not have symptoms, but might be prevalent and can be detected early, so it is important to make an appointment if you are feeling unwell.

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