Health expert warns of ‘disaster waiting to happen’ for over 40s if they don’t do one thing

Person getting a health screening
-Credit: (Image: GETTY)


On Friday’s episode of Morning Live on BBC One, Dr Punam Krishan made an urgent plea to viewers aged between 40 and 74 to get a health check for free at their local NHS surgery. The health expert highlighted it’s vital to get ahead of diseases, illnesses and conditions by being proactive and spotting symptoms that often fly under the radar.

She explained that as the toll of modern life begins to wear down our bodies, Brits need to be more conscious about how their lifestyle is affecting their health: “Whether that is high levels of stress, physical activity levels, diet which is high in processed foods, erratic sleep patterns. It all adds up. That increases that risk further. Of course we can’t control things like ethnicity but the fact is if you don’t pick up these early enough it’s a disaster waiting to happen.”

The Doctor explained “the power of health screening” as it serves to pick up on early warning signs and risk factors of detrimental conditions. She said: “At the NHS we do offer free health checks for those that are over the age of 40 and it’s brilliant.”

This is specifically for Brits between 40 and 74 years old who do not have any pre-existing conditions and are not in the health system for other reasons. To access these tests, Dr Krishan advised people to contact their local GP surgery.

While some GP surgeries might send out invites for the health screenings on their own accord, others might require patients to request it and the doctor advised: “If you’re not sure if you’re eligible then you can just contact your surgery and they’ll let you know.”

Once at the appointment, Dr Krishan broke down exactly what will happen starting with measuring the patient’s height, weight and waist circumference to see if they are at risk of being overweight or obese which can spark a myriad of other health problems. She noted that it’s usually the practice nurse or a healthcare assistant that will run the 20 to 30 minute long appointment.

After checking height and weight, the nurse will check blood pressure and usually do a finger prick test to check cholesterol and blood sugar levels. But that’s only part of the screening and patients should be prepared to have a thorough run-down.

Dr Krishan explained: “The whole point of this is that we also want to identify risks so it will be a detailed history that we will take. Family history, do you smoke, do you drink alcohol, are there any risk factors there. And if any red flags are identified you get referred to your GP for a follow-up.”