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BACKGROUND: The NHS Health Check cardiovascular prevention programme is now 10 years old. AIM: We describe NHS Heath Check attendance, new diagnoses and treatment in relation to equity indicators. DESIGN AND SETTING: Using a national general practice database 2009-17, we compared NHS Health Check attendance and new diagnoses and treatments, by age, gender, ethnic group and deprivation. RESULTS: In 2013-17, 590,218 eligible people age 40-74 years attended an NHS Health Check (16.9%) and 2,902,598 (83.1%) did not attend. South Asian ethnic groups were most likely to attend and women more than men. New diagnoses were more likely in attendees than non-attendees; hypertension 25/1000 attendees vs 9/1000 in non-attendees; type 2 diabetes 8/1000 vs 3/1000; chronic kidney disease 7/1000 vs 4/1000. In people aged 65 or older, new atrial fibrillation was diagnosed in 5/1000 attendees and 3/1000 non-attendees and for dementia 2/1000 versus 1/1000 respectively. Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and CKD were more likely in more deprived groups, South Asian and black African/Caribbean ethnic groups. Attendees were more likely to be prescribed statins, 26/1000, than non-attendees 8/1000; and anti-hypertensive medicines, 25/1000 vs 13/1000 non-attendees. However, of the 117,963 people with 10% or greater CVD risk eligible for statins only 9,785 (8.3%) were prescribed them. CONCLUSIONS: NHS Health Checks uptake remains low. Attendees were more likely than non-attendees to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, hypertension and CKD and receive treatment with statins and antihypertensives. Most attendees received neither treatment nor referral. Of those eligible for statins, fewer than 10% were treated.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Gen Pract

Publication Date



Cardiovascular disease, Clinical (physical), Ethnic groups, Health promotion and prevention, Patient groups, Prevention