Half of middle-aged patients eligible for free NHS ‘health MOTs’ are missing them

Middle-aged patients are being urged to attend their NHS ‘health MOT’ to help prevent dementia.

Figures from NHS England show half of those who are eligible failed to show up for the free 20-minute assessment.

The checks are offered to all adults over 40 and look out for problems including high blood pressure or an irregular heart-beat. 

Such conditions greatly increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke, which in turn raise the likelihood of dementia.

Middle-aged patients are being urged to attend their NHS ‘health MOT’ to help prevent dementia (stock image)

Middle-aged patients are being urged to attend their NHS ‘health MOT’ to help prevent dementia (stock image)

Research has shown that for every 2 per cent reduction in the number of people who have a stroke or other heart problems, there are 10,000 fewer dementia cases later in life. 

All patients aged 40 to 74 are invited for an NHS health check by their GP every five years.

The appointment includes a series of assessments and questions designed to pick up type 2 diabetes and kidney disease, as well as heart problems.

Since June, doctors have been told to offer patients lifestyle advice to help prevent dementia. 

This includes stopping smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, cutting down on alcohol and taking regular exercise.

The MOT includes measuring blood pressure and BMI, and taking a blood sample to check cholesterol and blood-sugar levels. 

After the test patients are given a score estimating how likely they are to get heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes or have a stroke. They are offered advice based on their risk score.

Figures from NHS England show half of those who are eligible failed to show up for the free 20-minute assessment (stock image)

Figures from NHS England show half of those who are eligible failed to show up for the free 20-minute assessment (stock image)

 

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