As part of the NHS nationwide Health Check campaign to make people aware of a host of potential health problems, has commissioned a video to coincide with Men’s Health Week (June 10-16) in a bid to reduce avoidable deaths.

The NHS Health Check is designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia or heart disease – the biggest killer in the UK, and the short film called Know Your Numbers aims to encourage more people to get their blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked.

Targeted at adults aged between 40 and 74, the free Health Check takes just 20 minutes to complete and is just a series of questions about lifestyle and family history, a blood pressure reading, blood test and a height and weight measurement. It is estimated that in its first five years, the NHS Health Check has prevented more than 2,500 heart attacks or strokes thanks to early treatment.

As well as the specially commissioned Know Your Numbers video, which can be viewed on YouTube by clicking NHS England is also promoting the importance of getting checked through its various social media channels.

Dr Richard Jones, Clinical Director for the Wessex cardiovascular network, covering Dorset, Hampshire and Isle of Wight, said: “Heart attacks and strokes can be prevented. We can’t change our genes and age but other things that increase our risk are very treatable. Apart from smoking, the most important risks are high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

“In today’s busy NHS it is unrealistic for GPs to keep encouraging people to know their blood pressure and cholesterol, so who better to take control of our health? Don’t we have a personal responsibility to do this for ourselves?

“To remain as healthy as possible everyone should know their numbers, so make a resolution to find out your cholesterol and blood pressure. Ifs you are found to be at risk that’s when doctors, practice nurses and pharmacists can help advise and prescribe treatment.

“We hope this Know Your Numbers promotion will help kickstart a national campaign and reduce deaths and disability from heart attacks and strokes.”

People who do not already have heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease or high blood pressure aged between the ages of 40 and 74 will be invited by their GP surgery to take the NHS Health Check every five years. Anyone who is unsure if they are eligible for the test is urged to make an appointment with their GP.

The checks are routinely carried out at GP surgeries and local pharmacies, but they can even be undertaken in areas such as shopping centres, libraries, leisure centres and work places, while mobile units are also available to passers-by in certain areas.