All patients between 40 and 75 years old are entitled to a free NHS health check to work out their risk of developing cardiovascular problems like angina, heart attacks and strokes over the next 10 years. Your smoking status, weight, glucose, cholesterol, liver and kidney function will be checked and you will be given advice on how to improve your health and decrease you chances of developing cardiovascular problems. You must not eat or drink anything after 10pm on the night before the test apart from water or black tea or coffee with no sugar.
You might be given dietary and exercise advice and help to stop smoking or cut down on alcohol. There is a chance you may be identified as having high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney problems which increase your risk of heart problems too. It is important to identify these early as they can be treated and monitored to reduce the risk of them harming you. You may be offered medication for these. If you have a 20% or 1 in 5 chance of developing cardiovascular disease you will be offered a cholesterol lowering drug called a statin.
If you already have a vascular disease you will get these checks as part of your annual review. People with high blood pressure should also be having these checks annually but now need to FAST from the night before their blood tests to increase the tests accuracy.