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NHS Health Checks: time for a reality check?

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In the UK, cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. In an attempt to reduce its impact, NHS England introduced an ambitious programme to offer a health check every 5 years to individuals aged between 40 and 74 years without CVD, claiming that 1,600 heart attacks, 650 deaths and 4,000 new cases of diabetes would be prevented annually.1 While every effort is undoubtedly needed to tackle CVD, support for the NHS Health Check has not been universal.

From its inception, many suspected that the Health Check scheme served more to meet a …

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