Bluecrest Health Screening include a wide range of tests for a variety of conditions relating to stroke, heart disease, liver and kidney problems – and conditions that can typically show no symptoms until it’s too late.
There has been considerable press coverage recently on the need to improve the provision of health checks nationally and the health benefits that can arise as a result.
One simple test is for blood pressure, commonly performed by your GP – and something we would recommend asking for when you visit.
Hypertension is one of various factors for stroke and Doctors sometimes treat it with a prescription of medication.
Recent research indicates that people with high blood pressure, who don’t take their anti-hypertensive drug treatments when they should, have a greatly increased risk of suffering a stroke and dying from it compared to those who take their medication correctly.
A study of 73,527 patients with high blood pressure, published in the European Heart Journal, found that patients who did not adhere to their medication had a nearly four-fold increased risk of dying from stroke in the second year after first being prescribed drugs to control their blood pressure, and a three-fold increased risk in the tenth year, compared with adherent patients. In the year that the non-adherent patients died from a stroke, they had a 5.7-fold higher risk than the adherent patients.
The patients who didn’t take their medication correctly were also more likely to be admitted to hospital after a stroke. Their risk of hospitalisation was 2.7-fold higher in the second year after being prescribed anti-hypertensive drugs compared to adherent patients, and nearly 1.7-fold higher in the tenth year. In the year in which they admitted to hospital with a stroke, their risk was nearly two-fold higher than the adherent patients.
This study was written by Dr Kimmo Herttua, a senior fellow in the Population Research Unit at the University of Helsinki, Finland – and researchers were also from University College London, UK. Any research of this type is very much welcomed. More analysis of this type helps to get an overall impression of how the health screening programmes that are used to identify those at risk should also be linked in conjunction with subsequent programmes to reduce those risks – and therefore build a full picture of the benefits of health screening – whether it’s through medical management or lifestyle change.